Chapter 410

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Chapter 410: This guy is too professional, who is the real doctor here?

Schistosomiasis is a widely prevalent and highly harmful infectious disease. Anyone infected with it will exhibit symptoms such as fever, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, coughing, and wheezing.

It’s highly contagious, primarily transmitted through water. If people drink water contaminated with schistosomes or come into contact with the skin, they are at risk of infection. Even if feces are expelled from the body, it can still infect other livestock. When people consume infected livestock, they can get reinfected, which is very troublesome.

If this is indeed schistosomiasis, it indicates that there might be a problem with the local river water. If not dealt with promptly, it could lead to hundreds of thousands or even millions of people getting infected, causing severe consequences.

When Lin Beifan approached the patients, he sternly asked, “I have questions for you. This matter concerns your illness and the safety of the city’s residents. You must answer truthfully!”

“Who are you…” the weakened patient asked.

The local magistrate immediately stepped forward to introduce, “Don’t be impolite! This is the current Prime Minister of the imperial court, the Supreme Commander of the Army, His Royal Highness, King Loyalty and Valor! Whatever questions he asks, you must answer truthfully, without concealing anything!”

Everyone present was astonished. This young man before them was the Prime Minister of the current dynasty?

They hurriedly and nervously bowed, saying, “The humble ones pay respects to Prime Minister!”

Lin Beifan waved his hand and said, “You are unwell, there’s no need for formalities. What I ask next, you must answer honestly!”

“Yes, Your Highness, we will answer truthfully,” the patients weakly replied.

Lin Beifan then asked, “What kind of work do you do?”

“Reporting to Your Highness, we are local farmers, making a living by farming.”

“Reporting to Your Highness, we are farmers as well.”

Lin Beifan continued, “Where do you usually get your drinking water from?”

“Truthfully, Your Highness, we fetch our water from the Jinsha River!”

“Yes, it’s the Jinsha River!”

The Empress and those around her were perplexed, but they didn’t interrupt. After a round of questioning, Lin Beifan was nearly certain that they had contracted schistosomiasis. Their occupations varied, but they lived in close proximity to the Jinsha River. There was a deep pool there, which they called the Jade Dragon Pool, and they fetched water from it. Since there hadn’t been any issues in the past, and the river water appeared clear, they hadn’t suspected anything.

The Empress observed and asked, “Sir Lin, have you found the source?”

“Your Majesty, I’m not entirely sure. We need to investigate the Jade Dragon Pool!”

“Very well, I will accompany you!”

Lin Beifan and the others soon arrived at the Jade Dragon Pool.

The river water here was indeed very clear, and one could see the riverbed from above. Some fish swam leisurely in the river. Lin Beifan’s gaze was sharp, and he found what he was looking for in the Jade Dragon Pool.

“Nail snails!”

Nail snails are intermediate hosts for schistosomes. Where there are nail snails, there are usually schistosomes.

Finding nail snails was enough to confirm that the villagers in Embroidery Village had schistosomiasis.

“Bring some soil from the Jade Dragon Pool for me!” Lin Beifan ordered.

“Yes, Your Highness!” Two officials immediately took off their clothes and went into the river, digging up the soil from the pool and piling it on the riverbank. Lin Beifan picked up a piece of wood and extracted the nail snails from the soil.

Throughout the process, the Empress was puzzled. She asked, “Prime Minister, what are you doing? Have you discovered something? Can you please explain?”

“Your Majesty, they have indeed contracted the Gu Worm disease!” Lin Beifan said with a serious expression.

“The parasite disease?” The Empress furrowed her brow, her expression growing solemn. She had learned from those doctors earlier that the Gu Worm disease was a prevalent illness in the Southern Jiang region, usually occurring in the summer and autumn seasons.

Every time the epidemic occurs, tens of thousands of people get infected. After being infected, those with mild symptoms experience headaches, diarrhea, coughing, and shortness of breath, while severe cases result in swollen bellies as if pregnant, but you become as thin as a skeleton and often vomit blood.

As long as you contract the disease, it greatly affects your ability to work, and it’s very difficult to treat. “Is what you’re saying true, Your Majesty?” the empress asked.

Lin Beifan nodded earnestly. “It’s absolutely true! However, I would prefer to call it schistosomiasis.”

“Schistosomiasis? What a strange name…” the empress furrowed her brow again.

“The reason it’s called schistosomiasis is because it’s caused by blood flukes! These blood flukes are the parasites mentioned by doctors, a very tiny and enormously harmful creature!”

“They enter through any opening, preferentially inhabiting the bodies of humans and domestic animals. By feeding on blood, they grow and multiply in the organs, hence the name!” The empress nodded in understanding. “I see! So, Prime Minister, does killing these parasites cure the disease?”

“In theory, yes, but it’s extremely challenging to implement!”

Lin Beifan sighed. “Your Majesty, do you know that doctors have long recognized this disease and know how to treat it? But why is it still so widespread and recurring?”

The empress asked in confusion, “Prime Minister, why?”

Lin Beifan pointed to the nearby river and said, “Because people cannot survive without drinking water, and our main source of water comes from the surrounding rivers, where these parasites reside. Your Majesty, do you understand their danger?”

The empress’s expression changed. People cannot survive without drinking water, but if they drink water from the rivers, they might get infected.

If you don’t drink water, you’ll die in a few days.

If you drink water, although you may get sick, it could be months or even years before you die.

So, I ask you, will you drink or not?

“The Prime Minister’s words are correct; this disease is indeed difficult. Even if we cure the patients, they will still get infected because the water is contaminated. Unless they stop drinking water entirely, but how is that possible?” The chief physician beside them sighed. “Yes, this disease is truly stubborn. I once cured someone, but within a month, they relapsed because they had to drink water and ingested the parasites. It’s truly frustrating!”

“In the end, those patients will all succumb to the disease, there’s no way around it!”

“Even if they survive, they will suffer!”

“Some people don’t even get infected through water! This disease is truly insidious, and it’s challenging to prevent.”

Everyone shook their heads in despair.

The Empress also found herself in a difficult situation; this disease was truly hard to treat. If they didn’t handle it properly, it could become an epidemic, causing suffering for hundreds of thousands of people. Finally, the Empress turned to Lin Beifan, who often brought her hope. “Prime Minister Lin, you speak with wisdom, and it’s evident you understand this disease well. Do you have a solution?”

“Of course, there’s a solution!” Lin Beifan raised a reassuring finger. The Empress perked up, “Prime Minister, please share!”

Lin Beifan smiled and said, “This disease is caused by schistosomiasis, and the parasites always have a source. So, all we need to do is eliminate the source, which will reduce the disease and prevent its spread.”

“The Prime Minister is correct, but where is this source of parasites? We can’t seem to find it!”

“Yes, those parasites are so tiny, not visible to the naked eye. How can we find them?”

“If we can’t find them, we can’t eradicate the disease!”

Lin Beifan pointed to the snails at their feet and said, “The source of the parasites is right here!”

“The riverbank?” Everyone looked puzzled.

“That’s right, the harmful schistosomes usually inhabit this type of snail. Because it looks like a nail, I call it the ‘nail snail.’ So, as long as we find the nail snail and eliminate it, we can reduce schistosomiasis and prevent its spread!”

“It’s fortunate we discovered this in time. If we waited for the summer and fall seasons, the snails and schistosomes would have multiplied further, causing even greater harm and making it more difficult to deal with.”

People blinked in astonishment.

Although Lin Beifan’s explanation seemed far-fetched, they couldn’t help but believe it. The insects that had caused so much suffering were actually harbored in these tiny nail snails.

At this moment, a villager who knew the area well couldn’t help but speak up, “Prime Minister, this may sound like a tall tale, but it’s true! I often swim here, and I’m very familiar with the waters. I remember there weren’t these snails before. They only appeared recently, and our village became infected. So, it’s very likely that these nail snails are the cause of our illness!”

Finally, some trust emerged. The Empress fell silent for a moment and said, “Minister Lin, since you seem to understand this disease so well, I entrust this matter to you. If successful, we can implement it in Southern Jiang and even nationwide, preventing people from suffering from these parasites.”

“I will do my best!”

Lin Beifan immediately issued orders, “Starting today, send people to search for nail snails along the riverbank. Once found, collect the nail snails along with the surrounding mud and burn them.”

“Yes, Prime Minister! I’ll instruct my subordinates to do so immediately,” the local magistrate responded promptly.

Lin Beifan continued, “Until the river is thoroughly inspected twice, no one is allowed near it, especially the waters of the Jade Dragon Pond.”

“But Prime Minister, how can people do without water? We all need to drink!”

“The situation is urgent, and this is the only way to handle it for now. As for the water problem, you can still drink, but boil the water first and let everyone drink it. This will reduce the blood parasites in the water and minimize the risk of disease.”

“On this matter, our court bears a heavy responsibility. After we completely deal with the nail snails here, we can reopen the river.”

“Yes, Prime Minister, I understand what to do.”

Lin Beifan then issued several more detailed orders, showing his expertise. The Empress and the surrounding doctors were left in astonishment. This guy was incredibly knowledgeable. Who was the real doctor here?

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