Tags: paragonimiasis | lung | parasitic infection | risk | symptoms

Paragonimiasis: Who Is At Risk?

Monday, 14 April 2014 12:36 AM

Paragonimiasis, also termed as paragonimus infection, is a parasitic infection caused by eating undercooked crayfish or crab infected with paragonimiasis. This parasitic infection affects the lungs. Paragonimiasis is caused by lung fluke paragonimus. When this parasite affects the central nervous system, it causes severe paragonimiasis and can even cause symptoms of meningitis. 
A number of species of paragonimus can cause parasitic infection, with the lung fluke Paragonimus westermani being the most common. Contaminated dishes, with shellfish consumed either in its raw form or in preparations using wine, vinegar, or brine, without further cooking, can increase the risk of transmitting this parasitic infection. However, this parasitic infection is not contagious.
Risk and Cause of Paragonimiasis
Millions of people are estimated to be affected by this parasitic infection all over the world, while millions of others risk developing this parasitic infection. People from Asia are at an increased risk of developing this parasitic infection with the lung fluke called P. westermani being the primary cause. The Asian countries include Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand. Other species affect people from Africa as well as Central and South America.
When infected crawfish or crab is digested, larval stages of the parasite are released in the body. They migrate inside the body and ultimately affect the lungs. The larvae mature into adult lung flukes within six to 10 weeks. These adult flukes cause the disease in the lungs.
Symptoms of Paragonimiasis
Symptoms of paragonimiasis include abdominal pain and diarrhea in the initial two to 25 days of the lung fluke parasitic infection. These are the initial signs and symptoms of this parasitic infection in the lungs. After several days, these initial symptoms may be followed by symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and chest pain. Symptoms of paragonimiasis may appear similar to the symptoms of tuberculosis. Initial symptoms may also include dry cough, which then becomes productive with rust-colored or blood-tinged sputum on exertion.
On noticing symptoms, diagnosis of paragonimiasis is conducted by examining the paragonimus eggs in the sputum or in the stool. Ziehl-Neelson staining technique can be used to diagnose paragonimiasis. After diagnosis, the physician can provide effective treatment. Avoiding eating undercooked or raw crab or crayfish helps in the prevention of the lung fluke parasitic infection.

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Paragonimiasis is a parasitic infection that affects the human lungs. It is an infection caused after eating raw crayfish or crab. It is a common infection and millions of people around the world are estimated to be at risk of developing it. Its symptoms are similar to those of tuberculosis.
paragonimiasis, lung, parasitic infection, risk, symptoms
Monday, 14 April 2014 12:36 AM
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