An outbreak of acute schistosomiasis at Porto de Galinhas beach, Pernambuco, Brazil

Constança Simões Barbosa Ana Lúcia Coutinho Domingues Frederico Abath Silvia Maria Lucena Montenegro Ubiracy Guida Jefferson Carneiro Barnabé Tabosa Clarice N. Lins de Moraes Vitorino Spinelli About the authors

We recently confirmed several cases of acute schistosomiasis in Porto de Galinhas beach, Northeast Brazil. A total of 662 patients were diagnosed by parasitological and clinical examinations. The infection likely occurred during the September 7 national holiday, when heavy rainfall flooded the Ipojuca River and people were infected when the water covered their yards. Families were continuously exposed to infection for a period of three weeks until the water had completely dried up. Previous investigation suggests that snail vectors were introduced as a result of landfill in marshy areas. The swamp-flooding of such areas facilitated the emergence of slums surrounded by snail breeding sites. Heavy rainfall caused open-air sewage ditches to overflow, allowing for infection of snails by Schistosoma mansoni. Thus, continuous floods were responsible for the spread of human infection. Clinical and laboratory results identified 62% of acute cases of S. mansoni. Complementary studies are being conducted to define the impact and epidemiological meaning of the acute schistosomiasis outbreak.

Acute Schistosomiasis; Schistosomiasis Control; Schistosomiasis Outbreak

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