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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Blood Fluke

The blood fluke is a long parasitic flatworm known as Bilharzia or Schistosoma. It causes bilharzia or Schistosomiasis. This disease is widespread in Africa, south America, south China and Japan. Generally, the disease causes poor health and anaemia, which in turn makes the infected person less resistant to other diseases.

Life cycle : the life cycle of the blood fluke involved two hosts: a human being and a water snail. The larvae (miracidia) of the blood fluke multiply in the body of the water snail and develop into tiny worms called cercariae. The cercariae penetrate the skin and tissues and enter the bloodstream where they feed and grow. They finally settle in the veins of the urinary bladder or intestine where they develop into adult worms that lay numerous eggs. The eggs leave the bodies of the human hosts via faeces and urine. When the eggs get into water bodies, they develop into miracidia which infect water snails.

Control : Blood fluke infestation can be controlled by destroying water snails (done by getting rid of the water weeds on which the snails feed); ensuring that rivers and ponds do not become contaminated by infected urine and faeces; and treating infected people with drugs to kill the flukes.
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