Aspects of Schistosomal Endemicity in Three Puerto Rican Watersheds

David PimentelTechnology Branch, Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bilharzia Control Unit, Department of Health, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Charles E. GerhardtTechnology Branch, Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bilharzia Control Unit, Department of Health, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Edward R. WilliamsTechnology Branch, Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bilharzia Control Unit, Department of Health, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Paul C. White Jr.Technology Branch, Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bilharzia Control Unit, Department of Health, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Frederick F. FergusonTechnology Branch, Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bilharzia Control Unit, Department of Health, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Summary

A study of three Puerto Rican communities, each in a different watershed, was made with respect to group culture, distance from stream, waste disposal, contact with water, snail populations, snail infections, and the manner in which these factors influenced schistosomiasis endemicity. During the course of a 2-year period, 289 identified children of both sexes, ranging in age from 1 through 16 years, were surveyed quarterly for schistosomiasis, ascariasis, trichocephaliasis, and necatoriasis. The communities selected for study included a low class rural culture, a low class suburban culture, and a lower middle class suburban culture. Over-all schistosome infection rates of 69, 26, and 18%, respectively, were found in the three areas. Only 1% of 10,514 snails tested were positive. Factors associated with high schistosomiasis infection rates were poor means of waste disposal, frequent use of infested streams, and relatively large numbers of infected snails.

Author Notes

Present address: Department of Entomology and Limnology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Present address: Regional Office, Public Health Service, Region III, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Present address: Division of Engineering Services, Public Health Service, Washington, D. C.

Present address: 2405 Williams Lane, Decatur, Georgia.

Present address: Puerto Rico Field Station, P. O. Box 52, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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