You have certainly heard of snails and parasites before, but I bet you have never heard of a snail parasite. There is a type of snail that carries a deadly parasite, and this snail is of concern to researchers since it can travel long distances, and not just for a parasite. There are some snails, believe it or not, that are potential health threats, and the snail being discussed, the typical freshwater snail, is certainly one of the more alarming snail species.
A research team looked into the genome of the freshwater snail and found that this snail is capable of traveling a whole thirty miles. How it was that the scientists determined how far this snail can travel based on its genes is beyond me.
This snail causes problems in many developing countries for spreading the disease known as schistosomiasis. This disease infects more than two hundred and forty million people worldwide. That high number may not seem so surprising when you realize that just one single freshwater snail can carry enough parasites to infect an entire water supply. Who would have thought that a snail could do so much damage?
Have you ever been infected with a parasitic disease, or suspected you were infected at one point during your lifetime?