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January 27, 1984

Acute Schistosomiasis Among Americans Rafting the Omo River, Ethiopia

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Field Services, Epidemiology Program Office (Dr Istre), and the Division of Parasitic Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases (Dr Fontaine), Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta; and the Communicable Disease Control Section, Colorado Department of Public Health, Denver (Dr Hopkins). Dr Tarr is in private practice, Gunnison, Colo. Dr Istre is now with the Oklahoma Department of Health, Oklahoma City.

JAMA. 1984;251(4):508-510. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340280058030

An outbreak of acute schistosomiasis occurred among a group of adventurers who took part in a rafting expedition on the Omo River in Ethiopia in November 1981. Six (55%) of the 11 members of the expedition experienced Schistosoma mansoniinfection confirmed by stool examination. Five of these six had symptoms compatible with acute schistosomiasis. Eosinophilia was the most frequent sign of infection (five of six), and fever, the most common symptom (four of six). Despite medical evaluations, illnesses had remained undiagnosed until January 1982. This outbreak should alert physicians to the risk of schistosomiasis among travelers to this part of Africa and the difficulty of correct diagnosis early in the course of the disease.

(JAMA 1984;251:508-510)