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Sixth case of pulmonary worm in rats confirmed this year in Hawaii, visitor to the island

Another case of rat lungworm disease has been confirmed in an adult visitor on the island of Hawaii.

The state health department announced today that it had received notification of the confirmed case of disease control and prevention centers, the sixth in Hawaii since the beginning of the year. 39; year.

Of the six cases, three were residents and three were visitors, all likely to have contracted the disease on the island of Hawaii.

The sixth person, a mainland resident, was traveling in western Hawaii when she was infected with the parasite responsible for rat lungworm disease. The person became ill in early February and was hospitalized for a short time on the continent for his symptoms.

An investigation did not identify an exact source of infection. However, the person reported eating a lot of fresh fruits without washing them.

"The careful washing of fresh fruits and vegetables, regardless of their origin, is an important step in the prevention of rat lungworm disease," said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist, in a statement. A press release. "Thoroughly inspecting and rinsing products under clean, running water is the most effective way to eliminate pests and other contaminants."

Angiostrongylosis, known as rat lungworm disease, is caused by a parasitic roundworm and can have debilitating effects on the brain and spinal cord of an infected person. In Hawaii, most people get sick by accidentally ingesting a snail or slug infected with the parasite.

The most common symptoms, which can vary widely, include severe headaches and stiff necks. In the most severe cases, people suffer from neurological problems, acute pain and long-term disability.

The State Department of Health recommends taking the following steps to prevent rat lungworm disease:

>> Wash all fruits and vegetables with running water to eliminate slugs and snails. Pay special attention to leafy vegetables.

>> Control snail, slug, and rat populations around homes, gardens, and farms. Get rid of these vectors safely by cleaning up debris where they could live and using traps and bait. Always wear gloves when working outdoors.

>> Inspect, wash and store products in sealed containers, whether from a local retailer, farmer's market, or garden.

For more information on rat lungworm disease and how to prevent its spread, please contact the state health department via this link, as well as the Department of Health website. agriculture of the state.

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