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Background: The investigation of paragonimiasis infection was carried out among inhabitants of Abayong communities in Cross River State, Nigeria.
Aim: The study was aimed at investigating the Crab-eating influence on paragonimiasis.
Materials and Methods: Crab-eating behaviour of the people was observed and sputum samples examined for eggs/ova of Paragonimus uterobilateralis
Statistical Analysis: Infection between males and females was compared using Chi-square test, while Analysis of variance was used to compare infection between Age groups, occupation and location.
Results: Out of 830 sputum samples examined consisting 67 (19.2%) males and 56 (11.6%) females, an overall paragonimiasis prevalence of 14.8% was recorded. There were more males infected than females with evidence of a significant difference (p < 0.001) between them. Higher frequency of crab-eating revealed more intensity of infection. The intensity of infection revealed that 56.96%, 33.3% and 1.0% persons showed low, moderate and high intensity respectively, of eggs/ova counts per 5ml of sputum.
Paragonimiasis infection was highest (24.9%) in Ijom Abayong and lowest (5.2%) in Abrijang. Risk exposure of each occupation to paragonimiasis revealed that Food vendors had the highest risk ratio of 1.025. Teachers, Farmers, Fishermen, Students and Artisans have 70%, 14%, 34%, 67% and 35% respectively of the risk of their non-exposed members to contract paragonimiasis.
Conclusion. This study revealed that paragonimiasis is a food-borne parasitic zoonosis ravaging the six communities of Abayong. Mass education of the inhabitants is advocated to create awareness of the consequences of eating improperly cooked crab meals, to reduce infection and re-emergence of paragonimiasis.