Scientists urge schistosomiasis screening for preschoolers
Submitted by charlotte on Mon, 04/23/2012 - 20:00
Apr 23, 2012 | The Scotsman
Scottish scientists have called for African infants to be routinely screened for schistosomiasis. Edinburgh University research challenged a misconception that infants in sub-Saharan Africa are at low risk of contracting the illness which causes memory and organ damage.
Researchers tested hundreds of children aged between one and five and found that infection rates are high among pre-school children. The study also found that the commonly used drug to treat schistosomiasis, praziquantel which is regularly given to older children and adults, can safely cure the infection in infants.
Dr Francisca Mutapi, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who took part in the study, said: "Our study shows that infants are especially vulnerable to infection and should be included in public health treatment programmes"
Read the full article in the Scotsman