2 new rat lung­worm cases di­ag­nosed

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - NEWS -

Two cases of rat lung­worm dis­ease were di­ag­nosed last week­end on Hawaii Is­land and four oth­ers are “highly prob­a­ble,” the state Depart­ment of Health re­ports.

Eleven have been di­ag­nosed statewide so far in 2017.

The pa­tients in the lat­est cases drank home­made kava at a Keaau home from un­cov­ered buck­ets. The par­a­sitic worm An­giostrongy­lus can­to­nen­sis made them sick a few weeks later. The kava was in a large bowl. Af­ter drink­ing most, “the in­di­vid­u­als no­ticed a slug at the bot­tom of the bowl,” health of­fi­cials said. Slugs con­tain the par­a­sitic worm’s lar­vae from rat fe­ces they eat.

Symp­toms of rat lung­worm are stiff neck, headache, fever, pain and tin­gling in ex­trem­i­ties and skin.

Of­fi­cials ad­vise peo­ple to scrub pro­duce well, es­pe­cially leafy greens, and store food cov­ered. Also, con­trol slugs, snails and rats near gar­dens and farms.

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