These small creatures kill more often than large sharks, crocodiles or lions. Let’s be honest, snails are incapable of inflicting a fatal bite or blow, but they carry the parasitic disease schistosomiasis. How does this happen, where is it possible and how dangerous?
According to the World Health Organization, a parasitic infection is diagnosed in several million people every year. Worse yet, somewhere between 20,000 and 200,000 die from schistosomiasis. But don’t panic, it’s most common in Africa. It is also possible for us to become infected with these parasites, but most of us, noticing the signs of the disease, will rush to the doctor for an examination. In backward countries, due to the poor level of medicine or its complete absence in remote areas, the disease ends in a large number of deaths.
How does infection occur? It is enough to swim in a pond, wash clothes, ford a river or, much worse, drink water. Small parasites penetrate the human skin into the circulatory system, settle there, spread and live perfectly for many years. The small parasites grow into adult males and females that need to mate. After that, they lay eggs. But there is one but. To complete the cycle, these “eggs” need to get out of the person and get on the body of the snail. And so the circle continues each time.
What does the person feel? If the intestines are infected, then pain in the abdomen, blood in the urine. Worms can settle in the lungs, liver, reproductive system, and nervous system. But the symptoms do not appear immediately, but after a lot of this muck accumulates in the body.