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Public Health Implications of Aquatic Snails around Fish Ponds in Okwe, Delta State
A survey of aquatic snails around fish ponds in Okwe, Delta State was conducted to identify snails and their public health implications in the area. Snails were collected fortnightly within an hour of active snail search for a period of twelve months from randomly selected eight fish ponds using a scoop net attached to a long wooden handle. The study revealed the presence of Pila ovata, Pila africana, Gabbiella africana, Lymnaea natalensis, Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Bulinus forskali and Bulinus globosus. Out of 824 aquatic snails collected, 393 (47.7%) were P. ovata. Biomphalaria pfeifferi 5(0.6%) was the least in number. Okwe riverside fish pond which is an earthen pond had the highest number of snails collected in the survey. Oye, Okwe riverside and Destiny fish ponds had at least one representative of all the snails collected. Monthly variation of aquatic snails revealed that bulinid snails were significantly (P < 0.5) higher in the dry season than in the rainy season. However, Pila species were not significantly more in number during the rains than in the dry season. The presence of bulinid and Lymnaea snails around fish ponds is suggestive these fish ponds as potential sources of human schistosomiasis, bovine fascioliasis and possibly Clinostomum infection of fishes. The public health implications of aquatic snails are discussed.