How to Avoid Parasites in Southeast Asia

By | 2018-03-12T18:09:51+00:00 February 26, 2018|Infectious Disease, Viewpoints|

Fun with Infectious Diseases

Hi, I am Sarah Hudnall back as JUICE’s Infectious Disease correspondent, and I recently came back from ID week. One of the greatest, I think most exciting presentations at ID Week is called complicated cases in tropical medicine. And I learned what I think is a great example of what not to do while traveling in Southeast Asia. So I’m going to present to you some of the stuff that this guy in this case did and I want you to guess what he was infected with.

So this guy, he lived in hostels and guest houses only. He ate everything, tried everything from watercress seaweed salad, fresh uncooked fish, to pigs blood, which he specified was for dessert. He ignored all of his travel advice. I’m sorry he took one malaria pill. He swam in fresh water, which I think is a cardinal sin. He snorted cocaine, he smoked marijuana, he had what he described as a magic mushroom shake which he thinks might have been laced with meth. He had unprotected sex with a sex worker in Thailand and then, out of an abundance of caution, he drank bottled water the entire time.

So, what do you think he got infected with?

Was it:

A) Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis from that illicit swim
B) HIV from unprotected sex with a sex worker
C) Fasciola Gigantica from that watercress salad

The answer is C, Fasciola Gigantica from the watercress salad.

That thing popped out of his leg and I learned an important lesson.
Don’t eat watercress from that area unless you are very comfortable with migrating larva.

About the Author:

Sarah Hudnall
SVP, Group Creative Director

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