Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Hawaii Medical Journal (January 1991) 50(1): 9-12, 14-16


A seafood connection with parasitic diseases in Hawaii clearly has been established and clinicians and physicians need to become more aware of this association. The risk of people in Hawaii becoming infected with these parasites from seafood products are extremely low; however, this risk increases slightly if imported fresh fishes raw or partially cooked are eaten. Prevention of these diseases, therefore, is probably best accomplished by providing continuous, accurate, and responsible information to the public concerning the health risks of eating raw fishery products; by advising the seafood industry of potential problems and methods of addressing them properly; and by promoting awareness within the medical community.

Education of these groups must be continuous for at least two reasons. First, as demonstrated in our reinfection case, raw seafoods comprise a normal and irrevocable part of the diet for some individuals. These habits are ingrained and continual reenforcement of the risk appears to be necessary. Second, as we continue to exploit the abundance of species of ocean fishes and invertebrates as a food source, new marine parasites, some of which will be capable of infecting humans, will be encountered. Thus, the catch-of-the-future also may have within it a catch-22 situation.