What is Angiostrongyliasis?
Angiostrongyliasis is a parasitic infection caused by the roundworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis. It is also known as rat lungworm and is most commonly found in rodents, such as rats, and other animals, such as snails and slugs. Humans can become infected by eating raw or undercooked seafood, or by eating raw produce that has been contaminated with the larvae of the parasite. Symptoms of angiostrongyliasis can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, the infection can cause neurological symptoms, such as meningitis, seizures, and paralysis. Treatment typically involves medications to reduce inflammation and pain, as well as supportive care.
What are the symptoms of Angiostrongyliasis?
The most common symptoms of Angiostrongyliasis include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, and a rash. Other symptoms may include muscle pain, joint pain, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the infection can cause meningitis, seizures, and paralysis.
What are the causes of Angiostrongyliasis?
Angiostrongyliasis is caused by infection with the parasitic nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis. This parasite is found in the tropics and subtropics, and is most commonly transmitted to humans through the consumption of raw or undercooked snails, slugs, freshwater prawns, crabs, and frogs. In some cases, the parasite can also be transmitted through the consumption of contaminated vegetables, such as lettuce, or through contact with infected rodents.
What are the treatments for Angiostrongyliasis?
The main treatment for Angiostrongyliasis is supportive care. This includes rest, fluids, and medications to reduce fever and pain. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help reduce the risk of secondary bacterial infections. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the worms from the body.
What are the risk factors for Angiostrongyliasis?
1. Eating raw or undercooked snails, slugs, freshwater prawns, crabs, or frogs.
2. Drinking contaminated water.
3. Eating raw vegetables or fruits that have been contaminated with infected snails or slugs.
4. Living in or traveling to areas where the parasite is common.
5. Having contact with soil or water that has been contaminated with infected snails or slugs.
Is there a cure/medications for Angiostrongyliasis?
Yes, there are medications available to treat Angiostrongyliasis. The most commonly used medications are albendazole and ivermectin. These medications are usually taken orally and can be effective in treating the infection. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the worms from the body.