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Snail Fever, Relieve it Forever!

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Schistosomiasis a chronic and acute disease which is commonly known as snail fever. One of the common causes of this disease include larva or parasites being released by fresh water snails that penetrate in the skin of humans. This can occur in contaminated waters where snails are of great population. Although, Schistosomiasis is a chronic illness it could not possibly kill you immediately but it can bring about serious complications that can damage internal organs. This damage is mainly due to the egg migration of the parasites in the body. Furthermore, other causes that could lead to Schistosomiasis include hygiene related concerns. In the Philippines, 2,222 Filipinos are get infected coming from 189 municipalities and 28 provinces around the country. Snail fever may sound like a silly name for such a severe illness but this must not stop us from preventing it as much as we can.

There is an increase hospital visits occurring that is related with the disease, Schistosomiasis. Person can be infected if they come in contact with contaminated water such as in rivers, lakes and the like. This disease can destroy person’s liver, bladder and other parts of the body. The parasite will release larvae and emerge from snail that goes inside the skin and grow into adult worms that lives in the blood. Person’s urine and poo can take away the parasites inside their body. However, these worms will never stop laying eggs until the infected person get treated.

Since Schistosomiasis is common in tropical areas, especially in poor communities without access to safe drinking water and sanitation, Schistosomiasis can be prevented through following some simple precautionary measures.

1.       Avoid swimming or wading in freshwater when you are in countries in which schistosomiasis occurs. Swimming in the ocean and in chlorinated swimming pools is safe.

 2.       Drink safe water. Although schistosomiasis is not transmitted by swallowing contaminated water, if your mouth or lips come in contact with water containing the parasites, you could become infected. Bring your water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute will kill any harmful parasites, bacteria, or viruses present. Iodine treatment alone WILL NOT GUARANTEE that water is safe and free of all parasites.

 3.       Water used for bathing should be brought to a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill any cercariae, and then cooled before bathing to avoid scalding. Water held in a storage tank for at least 1 - 2 days should be safe for bathing.

 4.       Vigorous towel drying after an accidental, very brief water exposure may help to prevent the Schistosoma parasite from penetrating the skin. However, do not rely on vigorous towel drying alone to prevent schistosomiasis.



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