Definition of bilharzia in English:



  • 1A chronic disease, endemic in parts of Africa and South America, caused by infestation with blood flukes (schistosomes).

    • ‘He contracted bilharzia, then usually fatal, and wrote to his family asking for his body to be flown home and buried in the Varenne valley.’
    • ‘They also provide breeding grounds for the carriers of diseases such as malaria and bilharzia.’
    • ‘How can we expect a man or a woman to do a full day's work if he or she is riddled with malaria, bilharzia or hookworm?’
    • ‘A serious bilharzia outbreak has hit Mazabuka district affecting the daily classroom attendance by pupils in the classroom.’
    • ‘The US manufacturer of a drug to treat bilharzia, a parasitic disease that causes severe liver damage, has stopped production because of declining profits - even though the disease is thought to affect over 200 million people worldwide.’
    • ‘More than 33,000 cases of cholera have been reported, while malaria, anaemia and bilharzia have ravaged the population over the last few months.’
    • ‘Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, is an epidemic disease characterized by the gradual destruction of the kidneys, liver and other organs by a parasitic worm.’
    • ‘The disease schistosomiasis, or bilharzia, is a serious health problem in many parts of the world; you can learn more about it from the World Health Organization.’
    • ‘Water related diseases, such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery, bilharzia, and trachoma, are the single largest cause of human sickness in the world, and they disproportionately affect poor people, it said.’
    • ‘A family history of the disease, or chronic infection with the tropical diseases bilharzia also increase the risk of bladder cancer.’
    • ‘These are called schistosomes and they cause a disease known as bilharzia (schistosomiasis).’
    • ‘As in other parts of Zambia, tropical diseases such as malaria, bilharzia, and intestinal worms are quite common among the group.’
    • ‘Malnutrition is common, making it possible for tropical diseases such as malaria and bilharzia to spread.’
    • ‘These can be infected with water-borne parasites such as schistosomiasis, which is responsible for the disease bilharzia.’
    • ‘Almost all Egyptian mummies contained parasites which caused amoebic dysentery and bilharzia, and mummies in the New World had whipworm and roundworm eggs.’
    • ‘However, her medical records indicate that she has bronchitis, TB, bilharzia, malaria, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and multiple coughs and colds, all due to sickle cell.’
    • ‘Some of the most common diseases are malaria, bilharzia, sexually transmitted diseases, tetanus, cholera, polio, and typhoid.’
    • ‘Would we not still see breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer's disease, etc as being the diseases attracting funding rather than bilharzia?’
    • ‘The main effects of hunger are apathy and disease - bilharzia, cholera, tuberculosis, HIV-Aids.’
    • ‘Our doctor warned us that we would be certain to contract bilharzia if we did so, since the disease was endemic throughout the lakeside population.’
    1. 1.1 The fluke (schistosome) itself.
      • ‘Bilharzia Fluke and other soil- transmitted worms have affected two million Zambians, the southern African country's health minister said here Monday.’
      • ‘Slow flowing canals and stagnant pools were even more likely to harbour dangers: the snail which is host to the bilharzia blood fluke grows best in such an environment.’
      • ‘Fruits are lethal for snails, some aquatic life including bilharzia fluke.’
      • ‘Bilharzia is transmitted by bathing in water infected with bilharzia larvae.’
      • ‘It seems that the bilharzia fluke hasn't changed much over the centuries, and looking at the older specimens can be of help in fighting the disease/infestation.’


Mid 19th century: modern Latin, former name of the genus Schistosoma, named after T. Bilharz (1825–62), the German physician who discovered the parasite.