ProMed just released some news of a potential outbreak of Capillaria Philippinensis in the town of Zamboanga del Norte, Phillipines. I guess if there was going to be an outbreak of this intestinal parasite, it would be here.
81 people are already positive for the disease and 40 deaths have been recorded, including 9 children. Death from this parasite is generally through malnutrition and “starvation” or the host’s lungs filling with fluid. The parasites live in the intestines and “steal” all the nutrients from it’s host, causing malnutrition. Severe cases have such large amounts of parasites that the abdomen fills with fluid (ascites) and pleural transudates occur (lungs fill with fluid).
Once a person becomes infected, the parasite sheds its eggs in the feces of the host. The eggs look like trichuris eggs. If the feces contaminate water supply or lakes/rivers, the eggs hatch and begin to infect fish and water animals. Humans get infected when they eat the fish, raw or undercooked.
Capillariasis is an intestinal parasite that people get from eating raw or poorly cooked fish or crabs that are already infected. There are two types of this disease: Capillaria Philippinesis and Capillaria Hepatica. C. Philippinesis was first discovered in the 1960’s, in Luzon, Phillipines.
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The original article can be found here.