A. CRUMP, TDR, WHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY A. CRUMP, TDR, WHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scar on an elderly man's abdomen from a splenectomy operation to remove his spleen. This was necessary because of intestinal schistosomiasis (bilharzia). Bilharzia is caused by blood flukes (in this case Schistosoma japonicum) that penetrate the skin when someone is in infected water. These flukes travel to the blood vessels of the intestines, leading to liver and spleen enlargement. Other symptoms include anaemia, diarrhoea, dysentery and liver cirrhosis. This man now has a new bilharzia infection. Photographed at the Hunan Institute of Parasitic Diseases, China, in 1999.
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