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Paragonimiasis: Worm infection with abdominal lung symptoms

  1. Paragonimiasis is a parasitic infection caused by flatworms. Patients contract this disease after eating contaminated raw or undercooked shellfish. The patient mainly has problems with the lungs and pleura. Abdominal pain, cough, and shortness of breath are some of the common symptoms of the infectious disease. The disease is treatable with worm-killing drugs, although it sometimes takes quite some time before doctors can correctly diagnose the parasitic infection. If left untreated, paragonimiasis leads to chronic problems or else serious complications in the brain or abdomen may arise. Finally, it is preventively recommended not to eat raw shellfish in the (tropical) countries where these worms occur.

Causes: By flatworms

    Belly, lung (and brain) symptoms

    1. Not every patient with paragonimiasis has to deal with clinical features of the infectious disease. In symptomatic patients, the complaints usually manifest themselves two to fifteen days after infection. Usually, a symptomatic patient first develops abdominal pain and diarrhea. Several days later, several complaints arise such as (chronic) cough, a dry cough, brown sputum (mucus), coughing up blood with periods, fever, malaise (a general ill feeling), itching, hives (skin disease with itchy bumps), pain chest, shortness of breath and fatigue

    Diagnosis and investigations

    1. Physical examination This infection is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often mild and the disease overlaps with more common conditions with a similar clinical picture. First, the doctor questions the patient about the consumption of raw shellfish. He then performs a physical examination showing abnormal breath sounds and / or a tender stomach

    Treatment of infectious disease

    1. The doctor puts a combination with two anthelminthics

    Paragonimiasis complications

    1. Because the doctor often makes a late diagnosis or makes an incorrect diagnosis, the risk of complications is increased. When the parasitic infection spreads into the abdomen, the patient experiences pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid between pleura and pleura), pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and / or an abdominal tumor. If the parasite migrates to the brain, it causes symptoms of meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) such as vomiting, epilepsy, double vision (diplopia) and / or impaired vision, headache

    Prevention worm infection

    1. It is important to cook shellfish well before eating them. In addition, good sanitation is necessary to prevent contamination.

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