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E province attempts to wipe out snail fever
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-03-31 11:00
East China's Jiangxi provincial health authorities have announced plans to wipe out schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease commonly known as snail fever, by 2015.

Located south of the Yangtze River and boasting China's largest freshwater lake Poyang Lake, Jiangxi is one of China's areas worst hit by schistosomiasis.

About 100,000 people are living with the disease in Jiangxi and there are 667 million square meters of snail habitats.

Eliminating the freshwater snail that carries the disease is one of the major control measures, as it is the intermediate host of the blood fluke, which causes the disease, according to local health officials.

The provincial government will renovate at least 90 percent of water supply systems and toilets in rural areas and attempt to eradicate fluke eggs from water pipes before 2015.

It has ordered farmers to keep livestock in enclosures and banned the discharge of untreated animal waste.

Health authorities are to promote basic preventive measures among primary and middle school students in the next eight years. Basic preventive medicine will be provided free to rural farmers, and preferable health care rates should be available for affected groups.

China has 12 high-prevalence provinces and regions of schistosomiasis south of the Yangtze River. Records of the disease date back more than 2,100 years.

The disease has been hard to control in the past owing to poor waste treatment in fields, rural latrines, and fishing boats and waters. Schistosomiasis is a wasting disease causing blood loss and tissue damage.

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