MIAMI (AP) — Federal scientists are warning consumers about parasitic worms found in an invasive eel species that’s made a home in Florida.
Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey say the worms were found in Asian swamp eels collected between 2010 and 2012. The eels were collected from Florida waters and in ethnic food markets in Orlando, Atlanta and New York City.
The parasites could be transmitted to people who eat raw or undercooked eels. Severe cases of the infection can lead to blindness, paralysis or death.
Swamp eels transported live from Southeast Asia are sold in ethnic food markets nationwide. They also have made their way into waters in Florida, Georgia and New Jersey. The eels have few known predators in the U.S. They also can breathe air and move across land.