Vector Borne Diseases – Schistosomiasis 02

Categories: Health

woman-coughing-tissue-400x400What are the symptoms and signs of schistosomiasis?

Although a few patients may have minor skin irritation when the cercariae enter the skin, most people do not develop symptoms until the eggs develop (about one to two months after initial skin penetration). Then, fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches can begin within one to two months of infection. However, most people have no symptoms at this early phase of infection.

Unfortunately, a few patients develop acute schistosomiasis (Katayama fever) during this one- to two-month period, and their symptoms resemble those for serum sickness and include:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody diarrhea or blood in the stools
  • Cough
  • Malaise
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Body aches

The majority of people who develop chronic schistosomiasis have symptoms develop months or years after the initial exposure to the parasites. The following is a list of most symptoms associated with chronic schistosomiasis. Patients usually have a few of these symptoms.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Bloody diarrhea or blood in the stools
  • Blood in the urine and painful urination
  • Shortness of breath and coughing
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain and palpitation
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Mental status changes
  • Lesions on the vulva or the perianal area

These are very diverse and are symptoms that may be associated with other illnesses. It is important that if you feel/notice any of this and have been exposed to fresh water, you visit your physician.

We will progress in the next post with further discussion on schistosomiasis.

Dr Adenike Ojumu – Health Editor

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