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Published On: Fri, Apr 11th, 2014

Angiostrongylus infection in two Dutch travelers to the Philippines confirmed

Two cases of Angiostrongylus infection has been confirmed in two men from the Netherlands who traveled for vacation to the Philippines back in February, according to a letter to ProMed Mail from physicians from the Center for Tropical & Travel Medicine in Amsterdam Thursday.

Giant African Land Snail  Image/Video Screen Shot

Image/Video Screen Shot

The patients presented last month with painful paresthesias ( a sensation of tingling or burning of a person’s skin) on the thorax and limbs. A few days later, one of the men developed a confused state and diplopia due to paralysis of the abducens nerve.

A cerebrospinal fluid sample later showed an increased eosinophil count leading doctors to the diagnosis of  eosinophilic meningitis and Angiostrongylus was confirmed by PCR. Both men were treated with prednisone and albendazole and are recovering.

Angiostrongyliasis is an infection caused by the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis. This is a parasitic infection in rats where it matures. Mollusks like snails and slugs pick up Angiostrongylus larvae by ingesting them in rat feces.

Infection with this parasite occurs by accidentally or intentionally ingesting raw snails and slugs. Lettuce and other leafy vegetables may also be a source if contaminated by small mollusks. Eating raw or undercooked prawns and crabs that have ingested mollusks may also be a source of infection. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection is usually asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Symptoms usually appear in 1-3 weeks. The most serious disease is eosinophilic meningitis. The symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, tingling or painful feelings in the skin, low-grade fever, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms may last for weeks to months. The spinal fluid exhibits eosinophilia of over 20%. Deaths are rarely reported. Angiostrongylus is well known in the Philippines.

Prevention of this nematode is by not eating raw or undercooked snails or slugs, cook crabs and prawns to kill the larvae and thoroughly clean lettuce and other produce.

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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