Why am I posting in my cruise blog about the rare (in this hemisphere) tropical disease Schistosomiasis? Well because I caught it while on a cruise. Schistosomiasis is endemic in Africa, but rare in North America. There are a few Caribbean islands that are suspect according to the Center for Disease Control and I visited those islands this winter.
It took my doctor, who did a wonderful job, three months to confirm my diagnosis, but they tested me for all the more common illnesses before we got to Schistosomiasis including the more common Caribbean diseases Dengue Fever and Malaria. Schistosomiasis is also known as "snail disease" and when you fill out your US Customs declaration card at the end of your cruise you may note that snails are the only animal or creature specifically mentioned. I see why.
I had a bit of a difficult time, but once diagnosed and taking the medication I have been improving.