Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Angiostrongylus cantonensis’ Category

Hawaii: The east side of the Big Island, in particular, has become a hot spot for Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Rat Lungworm Disease).


“……Although the larvae can’t grow into adult worms in a human host, they still can cause various complications, including flulike symptoms, headaches, stiff necks and bursts of nerve pain that seem to shift from one part of the body to another. M.R.I. scans suggest that the worms can also wriggle into the brain, leading to eosinophilic meningitis, which in rare cases can cause paralysis.….”

lifecycle image


Angiostrongylus cantonensis_ infection: Two case reports

Wang H, Lu L, She D, et al. Eating centipedes can result in
_Angiostrongylus cantonensis_ infection: Two case reports and pathogen
investigation. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0151.




Case One:  “…..A 78-year-old woman was admitted to Zhujiang Hospital,Guangzhou,China,on November22,2012.She had been suffering from a moderate headache, somnolence, and cognitive impairment for several weeks, with no fever or vomiting. The patient said she had not sustained any recent trauma, been exposed to toxins, or consumed raw sea food or aquatic products. Physical examination revealed slight neck stiffness…… Further questions about the patient’s history showed that she had eaten centipedes without cooking them on several occasions……”

Case Two:  “…..A 46-year-old male was admitted to Zhujiang Hospital in Guangzhou, China, on December 14, 2012. The patient’s main complaint was a mild headache that had lasted for more than 20 days. He experienced no seizures, changes in consciousness, paralysis, vomiting, or fever.  The sole obvious focal neurologic sign was neck rigidity.  He had also consumed raw centipedes….”

Five Thai migrant workers have been found to be suffering from parasites that can cause meningitis or even blindness after eating raw snails

Focus Taiwan

“…..Angiostrongylus cantonensis is mainly found in uncooked snails and slugs, as well as contaminated water sources and lettuce, according to the CDC. The parasite commonly invades the brain and spinal cord, causing various neurological symptoms.

Patients often suffer from meningitis, commonly leading to acute sever headaches. Fever, vomiting, nausea, neck pain and stiffness are some of the other symptoms seen, and the parasite can even cause blindness if it invades a person’s eyeball.….”

Tsai HC1, Chen YS, Yen CM. Human parasitic meningitis caused by
_Angiostrongylus cantonensis_ Infection in Taiwan. Hawaii J Med Public
Health. 2013; 72(6 Suppl 2): 26-7; available at

Hawaii: Rat lungworm disease has increased in severity.

Hawaii Tribune-Herald

“…..[the worries of]  global warming and the possibility East
Hawaii’s rat lungworm problem will spread as the range of infested
snails grows on the mainland in the years ahead.

Angiostrongylus cantonensis Lifecycle



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