Schistosomiasis in a low prevalence area: incomplete urbanization increasing risk of infection in Paracambi, RJ, Brazil.
The risk of schistosomiasis infection and heavy infection in the locality of Sabugo was evaluated in relation to housing in areas with different urbanization development and to residential supply with snail-infested water. Critical sanitary conditions were found in areas of incomplete urbanization, where healthy water supply sources were scarce, and draining of sewage, without previous treatment, was made directly to the water-bodies used for domestic and leisure activities, despite being Biomphalaria tenagophila snail breeding-places. Stool examinations (Kato-Katz and Lutz methods) showed prevalence of 2.9% mean intensity of 79 eggs per gram of stool and 47% of positive cases presenting intense infection. The use of snail-contaminated water for domestic purposes was considered a risk factor for infection. It is concluded that incomplete urbanization would facilitate transmission, probably enhancing the intensity of infection and that a low prevalence could hide a highly focal transmission. The relevance of these facts upon the efficiency of epidemiologic study methods and disease control planning are then discussed.
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