Schistosomiasis: a Latin American neglected tropical disease
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Schistosomiasis is classified as a Latin American neglected tropical disease (NTD), meaning it belongs to a group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that cause substantial illness for more than one billion people globally, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). NTDs typically affect those living in poverty, and more than 200 million individuals are infected with schistosomiasis worldwide.
The parasites responsible for this particular NTD are found most commonly in Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and Southern China with incidents also noted in parts of Africa.
What causes schistosomiasis?
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates occurs through coming in contact with contaminated water. The disease is caused by blood flukes (trematode worms) of the genus Schistosoma which are released into water supplies by freshwater snails.
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