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Schools to check students for snail fever

SHANGHAI'S education authorities said today that they have informed local schools and universities to record students who have been to regions with schistosome infection during summer holidays after the new semester starts on September 1 to assist their investigation.

Schistosomiasis or snail fever is a parasitic disease caused by trematodes, a parasite living inside snails. The disease affects many people, particularly children who may acquire the disease by swimming or playing in infected water.

Migrant students from infected regions shall be recorded for early diagnosis and prevention of schistosomiasis, the officials said.

Under an order from the Ministry of Education, education authorities in 12 provinces and municipalities including Shanghai will strengthen health education against schistosomiasis because students suffering acute infection account for about 50 percent of the cases in recent years.

According to officials at the Shanghai Patriotic Health Campaign Commission, Shanghai is not an epidemic area for schistosomiasis but the city has certain water areas with snails, which could be a potential risk.


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