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Human schistosomes (blood flukes) are digenetic trematodes that spend the adult part of their life cycle in humans and a further part in aquatic snails. Despite advances in chemotherapy, schistosomiasis is still a significant infection in the populations of several countries in the tropics.
This book replaces a previous volume Schistosomiasis: Epidemiology, Treatment and Control (Heinemann, 1982) by Jordan and Webbe. All chapters have been rewritten by internationally renowned workers. Ultrasound, expected to aid identification of early disease in the field and increase our understanding of its evolution, is discussed in a new chapter. Others, each with an extensive bibliography, review the parasites and their snail intermediate hosts, epidemiology, clinical manifestations and pathology, diagnosis, immunology, drugs and patient management and control. Limitations of the role of chemotherapy in morbidity control are discussed and the need for flexibility in control interventions in the varied epidemiological situations is stressed. An interdisciplinary approach may be necessary to reduce transmission by appropriate measures against the snail intermediate host, and to implement public health measures, including the provision of safe water (with many other medical and social benefits) and health education.
This comprehensive volume is for public health workers involved in the prevention and control of the disease, for physicians, and for students and teachers of many disciplines. It also provides a reference book for health planners, social anthropologists, health educators, water and sanitary engineers and others engaged in improving health in the tropics. Physicians in temperate countries will also find it a useful reference book as schistosomiasis, often acute, is being diagnosed more frequently in those returning from holidays in endemic areas.
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