Home / Animals / Baby Hospitalized for Rat Lungworm Disease in Hawaii, Marking 17th Case of Rare Brain Parasite in State This Year

Baby Hospitalized for Rat Lungworm Disease in Hawaii, Marking 17th Case of Rare Brain Parasite in State This Year


Angiostrongylus cantonensis third stage, infective larva recovered from a slug. (Credit: CDC)

Angiostrongylus cantonensis third stage, infective larva recovered from a slug. (Credit: CDC)

An toddler was hospitalized for rat lungworm illness on Wednesday, in all probability after consuming a slug or snail on the Big Island of Hawaii, in keeping with an announcement from the Hawaii Department of Health. This marks the 10th case of the an infection on the island and the 17th statewide in 2017.

“This is an extremely unfortunate incident, with the infant currently hospitalized and receiving care,” Aaron Ueno, the Hawaii island district well being officer, mentioned in the assertion, including that the division can not present particular details about this case.

Rat lungworm can’t be transmitted between people, however anybody can purchase the illness by consuming uncooked or undercooked slugs, snails, freshwater shrimp, land crabs or frogs contaminated with the parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis, state officers famous.

Symptoms of the parasitic illness can embrace extreme complications and neck stiffness, because the illness primarily impacts the mind and spinal wire, in keeping with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to nausea, vomiting and fever. The sickness normally lasts between two weeks and two months, and on common, the incubation interval is one to a few weeks. However, an an infection can incubate in solely a single day or in six weeks.

The Hawaii Island District Health Office recommends that folks take further precautions by monitoring what youngsters put in their mouths, guaranteeing that they wash their fingers after enjoying on the bottom and cleansing all vegetables and fruit. Pieces of snails and slugs could by accident be “chopped up in vegetables, vegetable juices, or salads; or foods contaminated by the slime of infected snails or slugs,” in keeping with the CDC.

Homeowners ought to remove slugs, snails and rats from round residence gardens, an announcement from Hawaii Gov. David Ige mentioned in August. When it comes to supply, vegetables and fruit ought to be washed and rubbed underneath working water, particularly leafy greens, to take away any tiny slugs or snails. Any meals that must be saved ought to be put in sealed containers to stop snails or worms from getting inside.

Worldwide, 2,800 circumstances of rat lungworm have been reported from 30 nations, together with some in Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa, the Caribbean, Florida and Louisiana, in keeping with the CDC.

Janice Okubu, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health, famous this 12 months that Hawaii usually studies just one to 9 circumstances of rat lungworm every year. Hawaii has reported essentially the most circumstances in the United States.

Due to rising issues in regards to the illness, the governor’s workplace introduced in August extra efforts to stop it, together with funding for an consciousness marketing campaign and a partnership to check illness routes and dangers.

“We are bringing together local experts from relevant fields to increase public awareness, improve our response activities, and explore ways to control and treat the disease,” Ige mentioned in the assertion.

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