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Schistosomiasis among Travelers: New Aspects of an Old Disease

By Eyal Meltzer, Galit Artom, Esther Marva, Marc Victor Assous, Galia Rahav and Eli Schwartz


Schistosomiasis is increasingly encountered among travelers returning from the tropics; signs and symptoms of travelers may differ from those of local populations. During 1993–2005, schistosomiasis was diagnosed in 137 Israeli travelers, most of whom were infected while in sub-Saharan Africa. Clinical findings compatible with acute schistosomiasis were recorded for 75 (66.4%) patients and included fever (71.3%), respiratory symptoms (42.9%), and cutaneous symptoms (45.2%). At time of physical examination, 42 patients (37.1%) still had symptoms of acute schistosomiasis, chronic schistosomiasis had developed in 23 (20.4%), and 48 (42.5%) were asymptomatic. Of patients who were initially asymptomatic, chronic schistosomiasis developed in 26%. Diagnosis was confirmed by serologic testing for 87.6% of patients, but schistosome ova were found in only 25.6%. We conclude that acute schistosomiasis is a major clinical problem among travelers, diagnostic and therapeutic options for acute schistosomiasis are limited, and asymptomatic travelers returning from schistosomiasis-endemic areas should be screened and treated

Topics: Research
Publisher: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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