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Proper Hygiene Prevents Schistosomiasis Risk a Medical Practitioner.

A Medical Practitioner, Dr Ibrahim Kolawole says proper hygiene is essential in the prevention of schistosomiasis infections, especially among children.

Ibrahim, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Omu-Aran on Wednesday, said schistosomiasis infection was more prevalent among people in poor and densely populated rural communities.

According to him, unhealthy habits by children such as swimming or fishing in infested water make them vulnerable to the disease.

Kolawole described the ailment as an acute and chronic parasitic disease caused by blood flukes (trematode worms) of the genus Schistosoma.

He noted that people become infected when larvae forms of the parasite released by freshwater snails penetrate the skin during contact with infested water.

'Transmission occurs when people suffering from schistosomiasis contaminate freshwater sources with their excreta containing parasite eggs which are hatched in water,'' he said.

The medical expert listed the symptoms of the disease to include rash itchy skin, fever, chills, cough, headache, stomach pain, joint pain as well as muscle aches.

Kolawole said that an infected person could also experience blood in stool or diarrhoea, frequent urination and fatigue.

According to him, schistosomiasis control focuses more on reducing its spread through periodic and large scale population treatment with praziquantel.

'Other comprehensive approach includes adequate water treatment, environmental sanitation and snail population monitoring and control.

'Water obtained from alternative sources should be brought to a rolling and boiled for at least one minute to kill any cercariae.

'Such water is then cooled before bathing to avoid scalding.

'Control measure can also include mass drug treatment of entire communities in case of an outbreak with school-age children as targets.

'Periodic treatment of at-risk populations will cure mild symptoms and also prevent infected people from developing severe, late-stage chronic disease,'' he said.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Jul 25, 2019
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