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      Schistosomiasis among Recreational Users of Upper Nile River, Uganda, 2007

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          After recreational exposure to river water in Uganda, 12 (17%) of 69 persons had evidence of schistosome infection. Eighteen percent self-medicated with praziquantel prophylaxis immediately after exposure, which was not appropriate. Travelers to schistosomiasis-endemic areas should consult a travel medicine physician.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Schistosomiasis and water resources development: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimates of people at risk.

          An estimated 779 million people are at risk of schistosomiasis, of whom 106 million (13.6%) live in irrigation schemes or in close proximity to large dam reservoirs. We identified 58 studies that examined the relation between water resources development projects and schistosomiasis, primarily in African settings. We present a systematic literature review and meta-analysis with the following objectives: (1) to update at-risk populations of schistosomiasis and number of people infected in endemic countries, and (2) to quantify the risk of water resources development and management on schistosomiasis. Using 35 datasets from 24 African studies, our meta-analysis showed pooled random risk ratios of 2.4 and 2.6 for urinary and intestinal schistosomiasis, respectively, among people living adjacent to dam reservoirs. The risk ratio estimate for studies evaluating the effect of irrigation on urinary schistosomiasis was in the range 0.02-7.3 (summary estimate 1.1) and that on intestinal schistosomiasis in the range 0.49-23.0 (summary estimate 4.7). Geographic stratification showed important spatial differences, idiosyncratic to the type of water resources development. We conclude that the development and management of water resources is an important risk factor for schistosomiasis, and hence strategies to mitigate negative effects should become integral parts in the planning, implementation, and operation of future water projects.
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            Schistosomiasis in Lake Malawi.

            In 1992 two US Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) developed central nervous system schistosomiasis due to infection with Schistosoma haematobium following recreational water exposure at Cape Maclear on Lake Malawi, an African lake considered by many to be free of schistosomiasis. To determine the transmission potential and risk for aquiring schistosomiasis in Lake Malawi, a cross-sectional survey of resident expatriates and visitors to Malawi was done during March and April, 1993. A volunteer cohort of expatriates and visitors representing a cross-section of Malawi's foregn population answered detailed questions about freshwater contact and provided blood specimens to determine the seroprevalence of S haematobium and S mansoni by ELISA and immunoblot analyses. A survey for vector snails was conducted along Lake Malawi's southwestern shore. The study population of 955 included 305 US citizens and 650 non-US foreign nationals. 303 of the study population had serological evidence of current or past schistosome infection. Seroprevalence was 32% (141/440) among expatriates whose freshwater exposure was limited to Lake Malawi; S haematobium antibodies were found in 135 of 141 (96%) seropositive specimens. Risk of seropositivity increased with the number of freshwater exposures at Lake Malawi resorts. Although many resort areas in the southwestern lake region posed a significant risk, Cape Maclear was the location most strongly associated with seropositivity (OR 2.9, 95% Cl 1.6-5.1). Schistosome-infected Bulinus globosus, the snail vector of S haematobium in Malawi, were found at Cape Maclear and other locations along the lakeshore. S haematobium infection is highly prevalent among expatriates and tourists in Malawi. Recreational water contact at popular resorts on Lake Malawi is the most likely source of infection. Transmission of schistosomiasis is occurring in Lake Malawi, a previously under-recognised site of transmission.
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              Acute schistosomiasis outbreak: clinical features and economic impact.

              Acute schistosomiasis (AS) is a systemic hypersensitivity reaction that has been recognized mostly in nonimmune travelers. Although the condition is self-limited, it can be severe. We describe an outbreak of AS in a group of travelers returning from Tanzania and estimate the disease burden. After we identified the index case, we initiated an epidemiological investigation of the entire group. Diagnosis was established on the basis of symptoms, serologic data, and ova detection. Relevant clinical information was documented with use of a structured questionnaire, and the patient's economic burden was recorded. Health-related quality of life was assessed during the illness and 3 months later. Of 34 group members, 27 had a single exposure to a fresh water pond, 22 (81%) of whom were infected. AS developed in 19 (86%) of the 22 infected travelers. Cough (78% of patients), fever (68%), and fatigue (58%) were the most common symptoms, with mean durations (+/- standard deviation) of 22 +/- 11, 11 +/- 7, and 37 +/- 16 days, respectively. The total number of medical encounters was 258 (mean no. of encounters per patient, 11), and 152 work and school days were missed (mean, 8 days per patient). During the acute phase of illness, there was a significant decline in health-related quality of life that returned to expected norms after 3 months. A single, short exposure of travelers to an infected pond led to a high infection rate. The illness had a significant impact on the patients' daily functions, and patients extensively used medical resources. Education to avoid exposure to fresh water remains the most effective method of schistosomiasis prevention.

                Author and article information

                Emerg Infect Dis
                Emerging Infectious Diseases
                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                May 2010
                : 16
                : 5
                : 866-868
                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (O.W. Morgan, G. Brunette, B.K. Kapella, I. McAuliffe, W. Li, N. Marano, S.J. Olsen, W.E. Secor, J.W. Tappero, P.P. Wilkins, S.P. Montgomery)
                Ugandan Virus Research Institute, Entebbe, Uganda (E. Katongole-Mbidde)
                Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda (S. Okware)
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Oliver W. Morgan, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop C12, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta GA 30333, USA; email: omorgan@


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