Bilharzia – Causes and Symptoms of Bilharzia
Bilharzia is also called as schistosomiasis a progressive disease caused by blood flukes. Bilharzia is a parasite that survives on human blood and these blood flukes are between 1 and 2 cm in length. They live in the veins of the human beings and their main target is the person’s bladder or stomach. These parasites reproduce rapidly and cause infections like schistosoma haematobium. The first symptoms are a “swimmers itch” or red bumps on the skin. They cause severe itching and leave red marks on the skin.
Causes of Bilharzia
The causes for this parasitic infection includes:
- This infective disease occurs when a person gets in contact with contaminated water.
- When the parasite is in its infective stage, it is called cercariae and swims in open water freely.
- When this parasite gets in contact with humans, the parasite enters the skin and matures into the second larval stage.
- It slowly migrates to the liver and lungs and matures into the adult form.
- The worm enters into its preferred body part.
- These areas include the bladder, rectum liver, bladder, portal venous system, lungs and spleen.
- The eggs that enter the body are sometimes passed in the urine or stool.
- The rest of the eggs grow into an adult form and can cause damage to the vital organs.
- The symptoms are caused by the body’s reaction to the worm’s eggs, not by the worm’s itself.
Symptoms of Bilharzia
The symptoms of this parasitic infection includes:
- Itchy skin
- A red raised rash
- Genital sores
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Skin rashes
- Muscle aches
- Liver tenderness
- Enlarged liver
Symptoms of eggs in spinal cord:
- Spinal cord inflammation
- Blood in stool
When to consult the medical health professional?
Talk to your doctor if you have a rash for more than a week and especially if you notice pus at the rash site. Consult your medical health professional immediately for further treatment.