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Question
Posted by: sam | 2007/03/31

bilhazia infection areas

please can you tell me where there are any bilhazia infection areas in gauteng and the free state, if you know where they are.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Sam
They can be anywhere where there are standing water in pools or dams that are "infected " with the freshwater snail that is the host for bilharzia.
They are found in the same areas as malaria : Zimbabwe, Mozambique, much of Gauteng, and the Natal and Eastern Cape coastal strips. They do not occur in salt water (salt lagoons on the coast). It has been long said that they occur, as far as South Africa is concerned, only in rivers flowing North and those flowing East, but this is not completely accurate. A few bilharzia type snails have been found in the Vaal River, for example, between Parys and Potchestroom. Bilharzia snails do not like fast flowing water. They do not go far from the bank of pools and dams, and the cercarias from infected snails cannot swim far, nor can they survive for more than a day or so. Fast flowing rivers will thus be fairly safe

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