Rapid risk assessment: Local transmission of Schistosoma haematobium in Corsica, France – 16 May 2014

Risk assessment
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Rapid risk assessment: Local transmission of Schistosoma haematobium in Corsica, France – 16 May 2014. Stockholm: ECDC; 2014.
 

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​As of 16 May 2014, eleven cases (six from France and five from Germany) of uro-genital schistosomiasis have been reported. All cases were exposed to freshwater in a natural swimming area in southern Corsica (Cavu River). None of the cases reported contact with freshwater in another area known as endemic for contracting schistosomiasis.

This is the first locally acquired infection of Schistosoma haematobium in France. The disease is known to be highly focal in its geographic distribution. Therefore, the risk of acquiring the infection exists only for residents and people who visit the affected area and engage in occupational or recreational activities in the river.

Executive summary

​As of 16 May 2014, eleven cases (six from France and five from Germany) of uro-genital schistosomiasis (Schistosoma haematobium) have been reported. All cases were exposed to freshwater in a natural swimming area in southern Corsica (Cavu River). This is the first locally acquired infection of Schistosoma haematobium in France.

The disease is known to be highly focal in its geographic distribution. Therefore, the risk of acquiring the infection exists only for residents and people who visit the affected area and engage in occupational or recreational activities in the river.

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease. A person can be infected with the parasite after recreational or occupational contact with infected freshwater. The infection can remain asymptomatic for a long period but can cause progressive damage to the uro-genital tract. The disease is not established in the EU, its current geographic distribution covers sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and the Arabic peninsula. However, imported cases to EU are repeatedly identified among migrants and travellers returning from endemic areas.

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