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FROM PARADISE TO PARASITE: Poop-eating slugs infect Hawaiian brains
Fatima Texiwala
Published:
July 10, 2019
Updated:
July 10, 2019 5:57 PM EDT
Poop-eating slugs are infecting people all over Hawaii. A new study suggests eating mollusks, half snail and half slug, is cause of the parasite's outbreak among Hawaiians. Getty Images
An outbreak of poop-eating slugs is infecting Hawaiians with brain parasites.
A recent study published Monday found people are likely getting the disease after eating infected mollusks — half snail and half slug.
Rat lungworm is the nightmarish neurological disease that spreads through animal feces by parasitic nematodes (roundworms).
It can be transferred to humans through infected rodents, snails, slugs and specific other animals that act as hosts to the parasite, said officials from The Hawaii State Department of Health in a news release.
Humans interact with this parasite when they consume these disease-carrying animals raw or uncooked.
Symptoms include headaches, stiffness of the neck, tingling or painful feelings in the skin or extremities, fever, nausea and vomiting.
They can vary in severity and in some cases lead to short-term facial paralysis and light sensitivity and even a rare form of meningitis.
Between 2007 and 2017, there were 82 reported in Hawaii of rat lungworm from the parasite, according to the Aloha State’s health officials.
The state’s medical experts and government will join forces to get the outbreak under control, said Wil Okabe, East Hawaii Liaison to the Office of the Governor.
Not only is Hawaii considered under threat but officials are targeting the issue on a state-wide scale.
“There is no specific treatment yet identified for this disease, so finding the best ways to prevent its spread and educate the public is crucial,” said Okabe.
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http://ajtmh.org/docserver/fulltext/...tpmd190280.pdf
http://governor.hawaii.gov/newsroom/...ease-in-hawaii
http://torontosun.com/health/from-pa...awaiian-brains