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Statement on the screening for urogenital schistosomiasis in populations visiting the rivers Cavu and Solenzara in south Corsica

In 2014, cases of urogenital schistosomiasis were diagnosed among people having bathed in the Cavu River (south Corsica) during the summer of 2013 and living in France, Germany or Italy. This situation led to an information campaign that enabled 106 indigenous cases to be diagnosed and preventive measures to be put in place locally. Analyses of the parasite demonstrated that the strain was an hybrid between Schistosoma bovis and S. haematobium. The Bulinus snail, the intermediate host, is present in the Cavu River, several other Corsican rivers and around the Mediterranean Sea.

Since 2015, 10 indigenous cases have been reported linked to bathing in the Cavu River, reflecting the persistence of a transmission of the parasite from a human or an animal reservoir, with a risk of spreading to other territories.

The Haut Conseil de la santé publique (HCSP - French High Council for Public Health) recommends the implementation of a plan aiming to eradicate schistosomiasis in south Corsica including several components of action to be applied over three years with annual monitoring:

  • an information, training and communication component to be adapted to the target groups;
  • an active search for cases prioritising the target populations and modifying the screening strategy previously recommended;
  • an environmental and human and social science research programme.

It recalls the need to keep up measures to provide information on the risks and encouragement to apply the preventive measures.

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