Survey of Schistosoma japonicum and Intestinal Parasites in Retired Servicemen and Foreign Laborers
1994 Vol.10 NO.5
Schistosoma japonicum is a parasite most prevalent in China and many south-eastern Asian countries. Taiwan is fortunately not infected. Till now, no evidence indicates that there have been indigenous cases of human infection in Taiwan. The indigenous Oncomelania hupensis formosana, a snail, has been proved capable of being infected by the China strain(1) and the Philippine strain(2) of human Schistosoma japonicum. The snail- is found in small quantity in Yuanshan Township of Ilan County, Peitou and Puyen townships of Changhua County, and the Laonung River of Kaohsiung County. Between 1965 and 1976, the snail was found in six more counties, Nantou, Chiayi, Taitung, Hualien, Tainan and Yunlin. Including the three counties, the snail can be found in nine counties in Taiwan Province(2). Another indigenous snail, Oncomelania hupensis chiui is found in Shihmen and Pali townships of Taipei County. This small snail is the only known host most susceptible to all strains of Schistosoma japonicum(2). Therefore, Taiwan can potentially be an epidemic area of Schistosoma japonicum. Visit to mainland China has been opened for visiting relatives and tourism. Each year, around one million people visit mainland China. Since October 1979, some ten thousands of workers from the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have been brought in. These countries (except Malaysia) have been infected by Schistosoma japonicum. A survey in this respect is, therefore, most important.