Not only is diarrheal illness atoo-common side effect of travel, now there’s the threat of something moreserious?meningitis. That’swhat happened to 12 Americans who visited Jamaica together, nine of whom endedup in the hospital with meningitis. The culprit? Angiostrongylus cantonensis,a roundworm more typical of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Basin, but also foundin rats and land snails in the Caribbean islands. Investigators tracked theprobable source of infection to Romaine lettuce in a Caesar salad that all 12ate at a restaurant. Symptoms began 6 to 31 days later and included headache,neck pain, intolerance to light, altered skin sensations and fatigue. Althoughall recovered, some experienced symptoms for weeks. To be safe when traveling,don’t eat uncooked produce like lettuce, or other potentially risky foods,such as raw or undercooked seafood, especially mollusks.
|The New England Journal of Medicine,February 28, 2002.|
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