Cancer-causing parasites cause havoc in Southeast Asia

People screened for fluke worms to detect early signs of bile duct cancer

In northern Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Koreas and China, rivers are infested with tiny fluke worms, parasites that can enter the human body when seafood is eaten raw, Reuters reports. Most infected people are men, and they can develop bile duct cancer in their forties or fifties as a result. Health authorities in northeast Thailand now plan to screen people for these worms with an annual stool examination, and those who are infected will be treated with drugs. This is the top cause of mortality in the region, authorities note, but can be treated with just one tablet of praziquantel, which is given free.