Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, snail fever, and Katayama fever , is a disease caused by parasitic flatworms of the Schistosoma type. The disease is spread by contact with fresh water contaminated with the parasites. These parasites are released from infected freshwater snails.
Signs and symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine. In those who have been infected a long time, liver damage, kidney failure, infertility, or bladder cancer may occur. In children, it may cause poor growth and learning difficulty.
Control of schistosomiasis is based on drug treatment (Praziquantel), snail control, improved sanitation and health education.Schistosomiasis remains a public health problem in several parts of the world, particularly in Africa where 92% of all the people requiring preventive chemotherapy for schistosomiasis live.