schistosomiasis schis·to·so·mi·a·sis (shĭs'tə-sə-mī'ə-sĭs, skĭs'-)
n. pl. schis·to·so·mi·a·ses (-sēz')
Any of various generally tropical diseases that is caused by infestation with schistosomes, is widespread in rural areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America through use of contaminated water, and is characterized by infection and gradual destruction of the tissues of the kidneys, liver, and other organs. Also called bilharziasis.
|schistosomiasis (shĭs'tə-sə-mī'ə-sĭs) Pronunciation Key
Any of a group of diseases caused by flatworm parasites of the genus Schistosoma that infest the blood of humans and other mammals, characterized by severe diarrhea and damage to vital organs, including the intestine and bladder. Schistosomiasis is seen in rural areas of Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and it is transmitted through contact with contaminated water.
group of chronic disorders caused by small, parasitic flatworms (family Schistosomatidae) commonly called blood flukes. Schistosomiasis is characterized by inflammation of the intestines, bladder, liver, and other organs. Next to malaria, it is probably humanity's most serious parasitic infection, affecting at least 200 million people yearly in Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean. There schistosomiasis is most prevalent in rural communities in which standards of hygiene are low. The disease is ordinarily contracted by working, bathing, or swimming in water populated by snails that carry the worms. The parasites were first identified as a cause of the disease in the 1850s by Theodor Bilharz, a German pathologist working in Egypt.
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