Schistosomiasis is a rare disease in the US. There are under 20,000 cases each year in America. This disease is mostly seen in tropical and subtropical regions. The disease is caused when parasitic worms infect freshwater. Infected people continue to swim, wade, and bathe in the water because they have no other means to get water. The freshwater is contaminated with feces and urine from animals. When the water gets onto the skin, it travels to the bloodstream and in a few months a person will experience the symptoms.
When Americans go to tropical and subtropical regions, they need to be careful by not swimming in the water. When they come back to US, they may have to be quarantined until the disease goes away. The good thing about the infection is it will go away in one to two days, if it’s caught early enough.
There are eight common signs of Schistosomiasis.
1. Bloody diarrhea or blood in stools is a common sign of Schistosomiasis.
A person may not really look at their bowel movement. They should look at the toilet paper to see if any blood is on it. The blood may be heavy and needs to be checked by a doctor. Some people may think it’s because their bowel movement is difficult to come out, but a lot of times there is something else wrong with the person. You should seek medical attention right away if it doesn’t go away. You don’t want to let your bowel movement stay bloody.
There is a reason why it’s happening. Think about if you’ve been to any tropical or subtropical country and swim or wade in the water. If so, that is how you got the infection. The blood in your stools will go away eventually with the right medication prescribed by your doctor.