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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011 Oct;85(4):685-90. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2011.11-0322.

Eosinophilic meningitis attributable to Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection in Hawaii: clinical characteristics and potential exposures.

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  • 1Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. nhoch@bu.edu

Abstract

The most common infectious cause of eosinophilic meningitis is Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which is transmitted largely by consumption of snails/slugs. We previously identified cases of angiostrongyliasis that occurred in Hawaii from 2001 to 2005; the highest incidence was on the island of Hawaii. We now report symptoms, laboratory parameters, and exposures. Eighteen patients were evaluated; 94% had headache, and 65% had sensory symptoms (paresthesia, hyperesthesia, and/or numbness). These symptoms lasted a median of 17 and 55 days, respectively. Three persons recalled finding a slug in their food/drink. Case-patients on the island of Hawaii were more likely than case-patients on other islands to consume raw homegrown produce in a typical week (89% versus 0%, P < 0.001) and to see snails/slugs on produce (56% versus 0%, P = 0.03). Residents and travelers should be aware of the potential risks of eating uncooked produce in Hawaii, especially if it is from the island of Hawaii and locally grown.

PMID:
21976573
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3183778
Free PMC Article
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