Hawaii investigates new cases of rat lungworm disease

Jewel Samad  AFP  Getty

It shocked Lape and Manilla, who considered themselves "pretty healthy individuals" who'd never gotten any sickness as bad as rat lungworm.

Tricia Mynar, a preschool worker, and a Maui resident is one of the people who contracted the risky rat lungworm disease.

Typically, the state gets reports of one to nine cases of rat lungworm each year, with two related deaths since 2007, Okubo said. According to Janice Okubo, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, the last case had taken place in 2010.

A bill is now making its way through the legislature that would fund programs to study, prevent, and hopefully eradicate the disease.

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Rat lungworm disease is not that unsafe, many people recovering from the infection without even knowing they had it.

People can get infected by eating raw or undercooked snails or slugs that have been infected by the parasite, or by handling contaminated fruits and vegetables.

A DNA or blood test is conducted to detect the disease. She just says they would do it differently - cooking fruits and vegetables instead of eating them raw and making sure their water is filtered or bottled.

A 2004 World Health Organisation report warned that "most new infections seem to be caused by pathogens already present in the environment, which have been brought out of obscurity, or given selective advantage, by changing ecological or social conditions". There were a total of 11 cases of the disease in 2016 on the islands.

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Science Alert reported preschool teacher, Tricia Mynar, as saying, "The parasites are in the lining of my brain, moving around". Four are Maui residents, two are visitors who contracted it on Maui, and three live on Hawaii Island. According to State Sen. The rat lungworm, once it enters the human's system lives in the brain. "Therefore, our communities need to take immediate action through prevention and control of the disease". It is not known for certain whether the slime left by infected snails and slugs are able to cause infection. Catchment tanks for rainwater should be covered to prevent slugs and snails from gaining access. Do not handle slugs/snails. However, it can also infect snails and slugs.

Although Lape, 57, will return to her communications consulting job next week, her 64-year-old husband will continue physical therapy for help walking and using his hands, she said. English/Hawaiʻi DOH/ and CDC. But for others, rat lungworm moves into the brain and can cause inflammation, pain, and other neurological problems such as tremors.

The infection causes a rare type of meningitis that brings on severe headaches and stiffness of the muscles, painful tingling in the skin or limbs, fever, nausea and vomiting, the Department of Health Disease Investigation Branch says. However, people affected by such symptoms should seek medical attention.

The symptoms of the infection can vary globally and it is also hard to diagnose and there is no treatment available to treat the disease. Treatment and pain medication can be given to relieve the symptoms.

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Apparently, Hawaii is not the most relaxed area in the US.

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