Beware of bilharzia  when you travel in Africa

For those who travel in Africa the risk of contracting bilharzia must always be considered. This is a blood fluke infection with adult male and female worms living over a life-span of many years in certain veins of the infected person. The infection is acquired from contact with water containing free-swimming larval forms of the parasites which have developed inside infected freshwater snails.

Infection occurs through penetration of your skin by free swimming larvae called cercaria. These parasites secrete enzymes that break down the skin’s protein enabling it to penetrate and spread to the lungs and onto the urinary tract or intestines. Continue reading Beware of bilharzia  when you travel in Africa