Friday 28 May 2010

Eating Raw Crayfish contracts severe parasitic infection

Have you consumed any raw crayfish from rivers or streams lately ? You might be wondering why your experiencing fever, coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath and or extreme fatigue, then your most likely to have caught a very rare and severe parasitic infection, known as paragonimiasis.

Doctors have recently diagnosed a rare parasitic infection in six people who had consumed raw crayfish from streams and rivers in Missouri.  Washington University infectious diseases specialist Gary Weil, MD, professor of medicine and of molecular microbiology, who has treated some of the patients, believes that many other people out there, may have contracted the disease.

Consuming almost any type shell or crab or crayfish from fresh water rivers and streams will likely contract an infection via a half inch (8cm) oval shaped parasitic worm that travels down ones intestines to the lungs. Worse still it could continue travelling to the brain causing severe headaches or vision problems, or under the skin, appearing as small, moving nodules.

Some patients experienced a buildup of fluid around the lungs and around the heart. One patient even had his gallbladder removed, to no avail. The infection is generally not fatal, and is easily treated if properly diagnosed. But the illness is so unusual that most doctors are not aware of it. Nevertheless once the disease has been diagnosed, treatment is easily managed with tabs of praziquantel and recovery takes hold within a few days.

Although Crayfish are common throughout North America, where hundreds of species live in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds there are other variant strains of the disease throughout East Asia, South america and Africa.

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