The snails spreading fever across Africa

Story highlights

  • Freshwater snails are spreading chronic disease across sub-Saharan Africa
  • The snails harbor parasitic schistomosoma worms that burrow into human skin

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(CNN)All it takes is a snail, a worm and some freshwater to become infected. Once you are, the disease could persist for decades -- and prove fatal.

The culprits come as a pair: freshwater snails harboring parasitic worms. Once released from the snails, the worms can burrow into the skin and deep inside the body of any human daring to enter its waters.
    The infection at hand is schistosomiasis -- also known as bilharzia -- a chronic infection caused by parasitic Schistomosa worms that can live inside blood vessels for years on end causing fever, chills and inflammation in their wake.
      "Any freshwater which has these snails in them could be the cause of infection,"