Projects are being carried out in many regions of Egypt to reclaim land from the desert for agriculture. This paper presents findings from a baseline epidemiologic study conducted in 1992 in two newly reclaimed areas near Ismailia, Egypt. In the first area, just east of the Suez Canal, 40.0% of the residents tested positive for Schistosoma mansoni and 1.7% tested positive for S. haematobium, while in the second area, 15 km southwest of Ismailia, 49.3% tested positive for S. mansoni and 3.3% tested positive for S. haematobium. The intensities of S. mansoni infection were moderately high, with a geometric mean egg count of 76 eggs/gram of fetes among positive individuals in the first area, and 100 eggs/gram of fetes in the second area. When compared with a previous study conducted in 1985, the prevalence of S. mansoni infection in the first area has increased from 21.7% to 42.1% among settlers in the last seven years, while that of S. haematobium has decreased from 7.8% to 1.7%. These trends may result from changes in irrigation practices or other alterations in the local environment. There is a risk of schistosomiasis becoming a major public health problem in reclaimed areas if adequate control measures are not taken.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases