Bilharzia treatment

Bilharzia treatment

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Credit: A. CRUMP, TDR, WHO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bilharzia treatment. Villager preparing to take praziquantel tablets to treat his bilharzia (schistosomiasis). The disease is caused by blood flukes (in this case Schistosoma japonicum). One dose of praziquantel will rid this man of his flukes, although it will not prevent reinfection. Infection occurs when the fluke's larvae penetrate the skin of someone in infected water. Symptoms include anaemia, dysentery, liver cirrhosis and enlargement of the liver and spleen. The fluke's life cycle is completed when urine or faeces from a carrier contaminates water. The flukes then infect their other host, a freshwater snail. Photographed in Hunan Province, China, in 1999.

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