Epidemiology of Paragonimiasis in Oban Community of Cross River State, Nigeria.
AbstractAbstract: The epidemiology and perception of Paragonimus infection were investigated in Oban community of Cross River State, Nigeria between January and June, 2006. Sputum samples collected on each of three consecutive days from 311 participants with productive cough were examined using standard parasitological procedures for the detection of ova of Paragonimus Spp. The samples were also processed and stained using the Ziehl-Neelsen technique to exclude Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Crabs collected from the village streams were dissected and examined for the presence of metacercariae of Paragonimus Spp. A questionnaire was also administered to test the perception of the disease.
Paragonimus uterobilateralis was confirmed as the aetiologic agent of paragonimiasis with a prevalence of 4.2%. Peak prevalence of 7.7% was found among children aged between 1 to 10 years. More males (4.5%) were infected than females (3.9%) (P > 0.05). The mean egg count was high (222 egs/5ml of sputum). The intensity of infection was found to
correlate moderately and strongly with haemoptysis (r = 0.6) and chest pain (r=0.8) respectively. Only 1.6% of the subjects had tuberculosis and presented with symptoms which mimic paragonimiasis. Sudanonautes africanus is the suspected vector of the disease in this locality. The disease, its vector and mode of transmission were poorly perceived by the
respondents. The study has confirmed the endemicity of paragonimiasis in Oban community as well as provides comprehensive information on the disease and its transmission in this locality. There is urgent need to initiate the control of this disease in this community.