Saturday, September 9, 2006

Eight Californians contracted a rare lung infection after eating live sawagani crabs at several southern California restaurants.

The freshwater crabs, also known as river or regal crabs, were purchased in several restaurants, including Riptide Rockin’ Sushi & Teppan Grill in Mission Viejo and Chomp Rockin’ Sushi & Teppan Grill in Fullerton. The crabs were infected with a parasite called paragonimus, a flatworm similar to lung fluke.

The parasite travels to the lungs six to ten weeks after ingestion. Symptoms include coughing, diarrhea, breathing problems, chest pain, abdominal pain, fever, and hives. The worm can spread to other organs, including the brain.

According to Wikipedia, about 5,000 Americans die of foodborne illness every year.

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