Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
HEUKELBACH, Jörg; OLIVEIRA, Fabíola Araújo Sales de and FELDMEIER, Hermann. Ecoparasitoses and public health in Brazil: challenges for control. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.5, pp. 1535-1540. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2003000500032.
Parasitic skin diseases such as scabies, pediculosis, tungiasis, and cutaneous larva migrans are hyperendemic in the numerous poor communities in Brazil and are commonly associated with considerable morbidity. However, programs to control ectoparasites are non-existent in the country's public health system. Due to neglect of these diseases by the population itself and health care professionals, the diseases' highly contagious characteristics, and lack of effective treatment and/or presence of animal reservoirs together with a complex life cycle, effective control of ectoparasites is an enormous public health challenge. This article discusses potential measures to control parasitic skin diseases in affected communities, based on mass treatment, health education, and (when applicable) eradication of animal reservoirs.
Keywords : Ectoparasitic Infestations; Vulnerable Group; Urban Health; Health Surveillance.