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Brain-invading worm spreads in Hawaii

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  • Brain-invading worm spreads in Hawaii
    Brain-invading worm spreads in Hawaii

    By Jesus Molina / Sunday, 09 Apr 2017 04:35PM

    A rare brain-invading disease caused by the worm Angiostrongylus cantonensis is spreading fastly in Maui, Hawaii. Experts have linked this phenomenon to climate change and globalization...
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

  • #2

    Six cases of rat lungworm confirmed on island
    Three cases under investigation; public urged to wash fruits and vegetables
    Apr 8, 2017
    Melissa Tanji
    Staff Writer

    There are six confirmed cases of the rat lungworm disease from Maui, with an additional three cases on Maui currently under investigation, a state Department of Health official said Friday afternoon.

    Spokeswoman Janice Okubo said that the confirmed cases involve four Maui residents and two visitors to the Valley Isle. The Maui News has learned the visitors are a man and a woman from Northern California.

    In the past, Maui has only had two cases of the disease, one of which was confirmed in 2010, a health official said earlier this week. The recent cases have been reported on Maui over the past several months.

    Earlier this week, health officials said there were six cases reported that were tied to Maui and a seventh involving a Maui resident who said she contracted the parasite on the Big Island.

    The disease is commonly spread through contact with the invasive semi-slug, which is prevalent on the Big Island, where the vast majority of cases are reported in Hawaii...


    • #3
      Source: DOH NEWS RELEASE: Hawaii Department of Health confirms two cases of rat lungworm on Hawaii Island with four probable cases

      Posted on Apr 19, 2017 in Latest News
      Residents accidentally consumed garden slugs in homemade drink
      HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today confirmed two new cases of individuals with rat lungworm illness on Hawaii Island. In addition, four related cases are considered highly probable based on clinical indications, a common discrete exposure, and symptoms consistent with the illness. All six cases are adults who were hospitalized and their illnesses reported to the department over the past weekend.
      The adults became infected with the parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis at a home in Keaau on Hawaii Island a few weeks after drinking homemade kava which they had left out in uncovered buckets after preparing the drink at the home. The kava was poured into a large bowl and after consuming most of the contents, the individuals noticed a slug at the bottom of the bowl. The department’s investigation determined the source of the infections was likely the homemade kava tainted by slugs.
      “The department is continuing to monitor this serious illness spread to individuals by infected slugs and snails,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Cases like this recent cluster are especially concerning because they can be prevented with basic precautions such as storing food in covered containers and properly inspecting and washing food before eating. These healthy habits can protect against food contamination and prevent serious illnesses.”
      With the addition of the two illnesses confirmed today, there have been a total of 11 confirmed cases of rat lungworm infection this year in the state. Earlier this year, four Maui resident cases, two non-resident cases who were visitors to Maui, and three Hawaii Island resident cases were confirmed. The two cases confirmed today were Hawaii Island residents and of the four probable cases, three were Hawaii Island residents and one was a resident of Maui who traveled to Hawaii Island.
      The Hawaii Department of Health advises everyone to carefully store, inspect and wash produce, especially leafy greens. Always store food in covered containers, wash all produce thoroughly and supervise young children playing outdoors to prevent them from putting snails or slugs into their mouths. Controlling snail, slug, and rat populations is one of the most important steps in fighting the spread of rat lungworm disease. Take precautions to control slugs, snails, and rats around properties, and especially around home gardens. Farmers as well as food handlers and processors should increase diligence in controlling slugs, snails, and rats on the farm.
      The Department of Health’s Food Safety Program continues to inspect and educate food establishments statewide on safe food handling and preparation to prevent contamination and food borne illness. Food establishments statewide are reminded to use only approved and licensed sources and carefully inspect and wash all produce during food preparation.
      The most common symptoms of angiostrongyliasis or rat lungworm include severe headache and neck stiffness, but symptoms may vary widely among cases. Seek medical attention for headache, fever, stiff neck, tingling or painful feelings in the skin or extremities. The most serious cases experience neurological problems, pain and severe disability. Healthcare providers should monitor and support patients’ symptoms, and report any persons they suspect may be infected. More information on the signs and symptoms of rat lungworm infection are at:
      # # #
      Media Contact:
      Janice Okubo
      Communications Office
      Phone: (808) 586-4445


      • #4

        2 more rat lungworm disease cases emerge for total of 13
        Associated Press
        April 29, 2017
        Updated April 29, 2017 12:39pm

        HILO >> Two more cases of rat lungworm disease have been confirmed in the state, bringing the total up to 13, Hawaii health officials said.

        The patients in two new cases are from the Big Island and are separate from kava elixir-related cases reported earlier this week, said State Health department officials, who made the announcement Friday...


        • #5

          Mumps, rat lungworm cases increase in Hawaii
          Published May 6, 2017 - 12:05am

          HONOLULU (AP) — The state Department of Health confirmed four more people in Hawaii have mumps, which brings this year’s total to 20.

          In addition, one more person in the state was confirmed to have rat lungworm, which brings the disease total to 14 people...

          ...As for rat lungworm, the new case is an adult who drank kava and previously was reported as a highly probable case in April.


          • #6
            HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii investigates cluster of rat lungworm cases linked to kava

            Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 5:38 pm PDTWednesday, April 19th 2017, 8:50 pm PDTBy HNN Staff As many as six people have contracted rat lungworm disease on the Big Island after drinking homemade kava tainted by slugs, the state Health Department said Wednesday.
            Additional Links

            Two of the cases have been confirmed, while the other four are considered probable. All six patients were hospitalized with similar symptoms, and the illnesses were reported to the state Health Department last weekend.
            Officials say the adults fell ill a few weeks after drinking the kava from a shared container at a Keaau home. The liquid was left out overnight in uncovered buckets after it was prepared. The murky beverage was poured into a large bowl. After the kava was consumed, a slug was found at the bottom. Health officials did not know what type of slug was discovered in the bowl. A team that inspected the property found various type of mollusks....
            “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

            Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)