Cluster of Angiostrongylus cantonensis Infection in Tainan County, 2009

Chiao-Wen Lin 1, Ya-ling Liu 1, Hui Zhen Lin 2, Ren-De Wang 1 ,Sheng-Tang Wei 1, Yi-Chun Wu 1, Lee-Yii Chung 3, Yen Chuan-Min 3

2010 Vol.26 NO.4

Correspondence Author: Chiao-Wen Lin



Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a common parasitic worm in rats’ lungs. It is also an endemic disease that occurs throughout the Southeast Asia and Pacific basin, and is a common pathogen of eosinophilic meningitis. On March 18, 2009, Taiwan CDC was informed by National Cheng Kung University Hospital that 3 Thai workers were suspected to have been infected by Angiostrongylus cantonensis. An investigation was soon conducted to figure out the extent, the infection source, and the transmission route of the cluster. It was found that in late February 2009, several Thai workers went out together on a holiday. Five of them caught golden apple snails in a fish pond under a bridge in Zen-De Township, Tainan County, and ate them raw with chili and vinegar. From March 5 to 19, 5 cases started to have symptoms of headache, myalgia, general malaise, stiff neck, and vomiting. Four of them sequentially went to the same hospital and hence a suspected cluster of Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection was reported. A cluster event of Angiostrongylus cantonensis-caused eopsinophilic meningitis due to eating raw golden apple snails was subsequently proved through testing related samples. Taiwan CDC has since issued letters to related agencies to request strengthening of hygiene education for Thai foreign workers.