Health department holding Oahu meetings on rat lungworm
  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
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Health department holding Oahu meetings on rat lungworm


The state Department of Health along with the Department of Agriculture and University of Hawaii are hosting a series of community meetings on rat lungworm disease on Oahu.

Special presentations by health and agricultural officials on how the public can prevent the spread of rat lungworm disease, especially around the home and garden, are scheduled for the following times and locations:

>> 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Ala Wai Elementary School cafeteria

>> 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 8 at Ewa Elementary School cafeteria

>> 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 9 at Kaneohe Elementary School cafeteria

Rat lungworm disease (angiostrongyliasis) can have debilitating effects on an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, according to the health department. It is caused by a parasitic roundworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which is endemic to Hawaii and spread when snails and slugs eat the feces of infected rodents that contain larvae of the roundworm.

The disease is not spread from person to person, but people can become infected by accidentally consuming snails or slugs hidden in unwashed produce or by eating under cooked snails, freshwater prawns, crabs and frogs.

To date this year, there have been 17 laboratory-confirmed cases of rat lungworm disease statewide. More information is available at the health department’s website.

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