Bilharzia outbreak reported in southern Zambia

LUSAKA, Zambia reported on Monday an outbreak of Schistosomiasis, also known as Bilharzia, in Chirundu district in the southern part of the country.

Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo said the disease broke out last week at one of the local schools where pupils started complaining of passing blood urine, with 99 confirmed cases having been reported so far.

“Our district health team is investigating the source of infection and working to determine the risk factors,” she told reporters.

Masebo added that 80 pupils who were symptomatic and another 179 who were asymptomatic had received treatment, with the age group ranging from seven to 15.

According to Masebo, mass drug administration at the school has commenced covering over 400 pupils and nine teachers.

According to Ministry of Health figures, Bilharzia affects more than 4 million school-aged children mostly in rural areas of Zambia due to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation facilities.

Source: Nam News Network

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