I’ve gone back to Lake Mainit bearing with me a better camera. And this time, I hope the pictures will be much much better. I still see a lot of potential for this place. The province only has to spend a little more time developing this area as a tourist destination and it should be a good source of livelihood for the people in this area.
One model that the local government can look at is the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex that was created by Governor LJ Villafuerte. Perhaps even the good governor can serve as some sort of a consultant for this endeavor.
One thing going for Lake Mainit is it’s accessibility. It’s along the National Highway so people should not have any problem going to the area. There’s also the Airport at Butuan City so even folks from outside Mindanao can easily go there. I can already see a lot of pension houses, bars, and commercial establishments being created along the Lake Mainit water front. The commercial potential is really huge.
The only thing that scares people away from this place I guess is Schistosomiasis. Now that’s a scary thing. Here’s what I researched about this disease:
Health issue: Schistosomiasis
Schistosomiasis is found in Lake Mainit and in the Tolosa-TabonTabon area. For those volunteers working or going to these areas the following information is important. If you have any questions you can contact the VSOP office or the VSO Medical section in London
Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, is a disease caused by parasitic worms.
How can I get schistosomiasis?
Infection occurs when your skin comes in contact with contaminated fresh water in which certain types of snails that carry schistosomes are living.
Fresh water becomes contaminated by Schistosoma eggs when infected people urinate or defecate in the water. The eggs hatch, and if certain types of snails (here’s the link to this type of snail)are present in the water, the parasites grow and develop inside the snails. The parasite leaves the snail and enters the water where it can survive for about 48 hours. Schistosoma parasites can penetrate the skin of persons who are wading, swimming, bathing, or washing in contaminated water. Within several weeks, worms grow inside the blood vessels of the body and produce eggs. Some of these eggs travel to the bladder or intestines and are passed into the urine or stool.
What are the symptoms of schistosomiasis?
Within days after becoming infected, you may develop a rash or itchy skin. Fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches can begin within 1-2 months of infection. Most people have no symptoms at this early phase of infection.
Eggs travel to the liver or pass into the intestine or bladder. Rarely, eggs are found in the brain or spinal cord and can cause seizures, paralysis, or spinal cord inflammation. For people who are repeatedly infected for many years, the parasite can damage the liver, intestines, lungs, and bladder.
Symptoms of schistosomiasis are caused by the body’s reaction to the eggs produced by worms, not by the worms themselves.
What should I do if I think I have schistosomiasis?
See your health care provider. If you have traveled to areas where schistosomiasis is found and had contact with fresh water, describe in detail where and for how long you traveled. Explain that you may have been exposed to contaminated water.
How is schistosomiasis diagnosed?
Your health care provider may ask you to provide stool or urine samples to see if you have the parasite. A blood test has been developed and is available at CDC. For accurate results, you must wait 6-8 weeks after your last exposure to contaminated water before the blood sample is taken.
What is the treatment for schistosomiasis?
Safe and effective drugs are available for the treatment of schistosomiasis. You will be given pills to take for 1-2 days
Not really sure if this is still prevalent in the area, but I’ve read some past publications saying that was the case then. I’m not sure if such is the case until now. If it is, then that would be a really sad thing. Who would want to dip in Lake Mainit if this parasite is around.
But before I totally sound like the harbinger of doom here, let’s go back to Lake Mainit’s pictures.