The Environment Agency of Iceland has announced that blood flukes, a type of parasitic flatworm, have been discovered in the geothermal springs of Landmannalaugar.
In this case, the parasites were likely borne to the waters by ducks, in particular mallards and greater scaups. Visitors to Landmannalaugar should be aware that they may contract this parasite by bathing in the geothermal pools, and therefore caution is strongly advised.
The parasite is actually fairly common in Iceland, being home to numerous aquatic birds.
Schistosoma, often called blood flukes are parasites which, if they make their way into the bloodstream, can cause schistosomiasis. This condition is marked by considerable itching of the skin where the parasites make contact.
In the event they enter the bloodstream, they can cause intestinal distress, including blood in both the stool and urine. In severe cases, long term infection can lead to damage to the kidneys and liver, amongst other conditions.
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