Helminthic Infections (Flukes And Worms)
• Liver fluke diseases (clonorchiasis and fascioliasis): Clonorchiasis is transmitted by eating raw, undercooked, pickled, or smoked freshwater fish. It is endemic countrywide, with recognized foci in Miao-li in northern, Sun-moon in central, and Mei-nung in southern Taiwan. Travelers should eat only well cooked fish. Fascioliasis is acquired by ingesting parasitic larvae attached to aquatic plants, such as watercress. • Intestinal fluke disease (fasciolopsiasis): Giant intestinal fluke disease is common in the Far East and is acquired by eating the parasitic larvae attached to aquatic plants, such as water chesnuts which have been contaminated by sewage from animals (pigs) and humans. • Lung fluke disease (paragonimiasis): Humans develp lung fluke disease after consuming contaminated raw, salted, or wine-soaked crustacea (freshwater crabs, crayfish, shrimp). • Intestinal worm disease (capillariasis and angiostrongyliasis): Capillariasis is a serious infection acquired by the ingestion of raw freashwater fish that harbor infective worm larvae. Angiostrongliasis (cerebral variety; enzootic in mountainous, remote areas of southern and eastern Taiwan) is a parasitic infection found mainly in Asia and the Asia Pacific among people who eat snails, prawns, crabs, planarians, vegetables, contaminated by the mucus of infected slugs, land snails, or aquatic snails. • Other intestinal helminthic infections include ascariasis (roundworms), ancylostomiasis (hookworms), enterobiasis (pinworms), trichuriasis (whipworms) and beef and pork tapeworm disease. • PREVENTION of helminthic infections: Travelers should avoid raw or undercooked food items that may be contaminated.
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