Indonesia is the second most common destination for Australian travelers, with 1.01 million journeys in the 2013–14 financial year. This is a 266% trend change compared with the 2003–04 financial year.
Why is this significant?
According to a case report published earlier this year in the Medical Journal of Australia, researchers describe cases of the trematode parasite, Fasciola hepatica, in returning Australian travelers to the vacation destination of Bali.
The two cases in the case report talk of two women who both had a history uncooked vegetables and salads during their time in Bali. As a result, both women contracted the “sheep liver fluke” prompting researchers to advise clinicians to consider fascioliasis when a patient presents with right upper quadrant pain, a poorly circumscribed lesion on imaging, eosinophilia and appropriate exposure history.
Fascioliasis is a foodborne infection caused by liver flukes Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. Transmission occurs from herbivores to humans via ingestion of cysts (metacercariae) present on water plants (classically watercress) or in contaminated water.
Fascioliasis affects some of the world’s poorest communities. In the developed world, cases are mainly described in returned travelers, but infection may occur locally through ingestion of imported or locally grown vegetables.
For more detail, read the case reports HERE