Urinary Schistosomiasis in Asylum Seekers in Italy: An Emergency Currently Undervalued
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Despite schistosomiasis is one of the most prevalent tropical diseases in developing countries and and large flows of migrants come from countries where the disease is endemic, imported urinary schistosomiasis is still not easily recognized in non-endemic areas, especially if not subjected to specific investigations. Moreover schistosomiasis is currently not reportable in any European public health system. The data presented in this report were collected were collected between asylum seekers by a simple screening method based on a prior or actual history of a macroscopic hematauria. In case of a history of gross hematuria, the patient underwent to specific exams standardized for the diagnosis of urinary schistosomiasis. Our data show that the prevalence of the disease has been largely underestimated by European Surveillance Systems; in fact in a small population of young asylum seekers coming from endemic areas for schistosomiasis, we found a significant number of individuals with symptomatic disease. Given that the disease typically has an insidious course, it is highly probable that a screening procedure is able to identify early asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic subjects and avoid the serious complications that are present in advanced stages of disease. Given the limits and the costs of a late diagnosis and that an effective treatment is available, subjects from endemic areas should be actively screened for urinary schistosomiasis.
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- Urinary Schistosomiasis in Asylum Seekers in Italy: An Emergency Currently Undervalued
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume 15, Issue 4 , pp 846-850
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Urinary schistosomiasis
- Asylum seekers
- Surveillance Systems
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Public Heath and Infectious Diseases, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Via del Policlinico 155, 00161, Rome, Italy
- 2. Department of Emergency Services and Office for International Health Cooperation and Development, Italian Red Cross, Rome, Italy
- 3. Department of Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, National Centre for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion—Italian Institute of Health, Rome, Italy
- 4. Department of Emergency Medicine, Calvary Mater Hospital, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
- 5. Department of General Surgery, Surgical Specialties and Organ Transplantation “Paride Stefanini”, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Rome, Italy
- 6. Department of Emergency Medicine, S.Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy