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Papers of the Week

2023 Jan 10

Medicina (Kaunas)



A Cluster of Paragonimiasis with Delayed Diagnosis Due to Difficulty Distinguishing Symptoms from Post-COVID-19 Respiratory Symptoms: A Report of Five Cases.


Sasaki J, Matsuoka M, Kinoshita T, Horii T, Tsuneyoshi S, Murata D, Takaki R, Tominaga M, Tanaka M, Maruyama H, Kawayama T, Hoshino T
Medicina (Kaunas). 2023 Jan 10; 59(1).
PMID: 36676761.


Paragonimiasis caused by trematodes belonging to the genus is often accompanied by chronic respiratory symptoms such as cough, the accumulation of sputum, hemoptysis, and chest pain. Prolonged symptoms, including respiratory symptoms, after coronavirus disease 2019 infection (COVID-19) are collectively called post-COVID-19 conditions. Paragonimiasis and COVID-19 may cause similar respiratory symptoms. We encountered five cases of paragonimiasis in patients in Japan for whom diagnoses were delayed due to the initial characterization of the respiratory symptoms as a post-COVID-19 condition. The patients had consumed homemade drunken freshwater crabs together. One to three weeks after consuming the crabs, four of the five patients were diagnosed with probable COVID-19. The major symptoms reported included cough, dyspnea, and chest pain. The major imaging findings were pleural effusion, pneumothorax, and nodular lesions of the lung. All the patients were diagnosed with paragonimiasis based on a serum antibody test and peripheral blood eosinophilia (560-15,610 cells/μL) and were treated successfully with 75 mg/kg/day praziquantel for 3 days. Before diagnosing a post-COVID-19 condition, it is necessary to consider whether other diseases, including paragonimiasis, may explain the symptoms. Further, chest radiographic or blood tests should be performed in patients with persistent respiratory symptoms after being infected with COVID-19 to avoid overlooking the possibility of infection.