Paragonimus is a parasitic lung fluke (flat worm). Cases of illness from infection occur after a person eats raw or undercooked infected crab or crayfish. The illness is known as paragonimiasis.Paragonimus infection also can be very serious if the fluke travels to the central nervous system, where it can cause symptoms of meningitis. Frequency is difficult to determine because of the lack of agreement on measurement criteria. Many people believe that Paragonimus begins in early childhood and that 9-17% of children aged 3-11 years have Paragonimus. At puberty, prevalence rises to 70-90%. In recent years, periodontal disease, the endpoint of chronic Paragonimus, slowly has decreased among adult Americans. Effective treatment for paragonimiasis is available from a physician.
Paragonimus infections are treatable by your health care provider. Prescription medications are available. Results may remain positive for as long as 20 years after cure. Paragonimus infection also can be very serious if the fluke travels to the central nervous system, where it can cause symptoms of meningitis. Further research is being conducted to determine the drugs for the Paragonimus and how long it can affect humans.