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Schistosomiasis in Corsica (France)

Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions

Updated: August 04, 2014

What is the current situation?

According to the European Centre for Disease Control, 6 people were infected with schistosomiasis on the island of Corsica (France). All of the travelers were exposed to the freshwater in the Cavu River and had not traveled to other areas where schistosomiasis is known to occur.

CDC recommends that travelers to the island of Corsica avoid exposure to freshwater to prevent schistosomiasis. 

What can travelers do to protect themselves?

There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent schistosomiasis. If you are in an area where schistosomiasis occurs, you should avoid having your skin exposed to freshwater sources, such as lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands. If you get potentially contaminated freshwater on your skin during a trip to areas where schistosomiasis occurs, talk to your doctor about getting tested and treated.

  • Avoid wading, swimming or bathing in freshwater in countries where schistosomiasis occurs.
    • Swimming in the ocean or in well-chlorinated pools is safe.
  • If you have to use freshwater, such as lake or river water, for bathing, treat the water in one of 3 ways to avoid infection:
  • Filter water with fine mesh filters (pore size of 30 μm or smaller) to remove the parasite.
  • Heat bathing water to 122˚F for 5 minutes to kill the parasite.
  • Keep water in a storage tank for at least 24 hours before use to kill the parasite.

If you feel sick and think you may have schistosomiasis:

  • Talk to your doctor or nurse if you feel seriously ill, especially if you have a fever.
    • Tell them about your travel. Describe in detail where and for how long you traveled, and explain that you may have been exposed to contaminated water. Ask if you need to be tested for schistosomiasis.
  • For more information about medical care abroad, see Getting Health Care Abroad and a list of International Joint Commission-accredited facilities.

Traveler Information

Clinician Information

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