Schistosomiasis

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Schistosomiasis, a blood-dwelling fluke worm, is a leading cause of anaemia and malnutrition and after years of infection can also damage the liver, intestine, lungs, and bladder.

The main disease-causing species are the urino-genetal S. haematobium (found in sub-Saharan Africa) and S. japonicum (found in East and Southeast Asia) and the intestinal S. mansoni (found in sub-Saharan Africa and some regions of Latin America). There are an estimated 250 million people infected with one of these major species, with more than 90% of the cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.

Schistosomiasis infections are highly focal, as transmission requires contamination of freshwater bodies by infected people urinating in water bodies or defaecating in the open, specific freshwater snails as intermediate hosts, and human water contact. Maps that show the location of schistosomiasis foci are therefore invaluable to guide the effective targeting of control programmes. Here, we provide maps highlighting the location of schistosomiasis surveys, often based on data that were previously unpublished or only accessible from private and otherwise restricted sources.

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