Rat lungworm can cause meningitis in humans and animals

Rat lungworm, a parasitic nematode, has been found in five Florida counties so far. The lungworm depends on rat and snail hosts to complete its life-cycle. To become infected, both humans and animals must eat the snails or infected frogs or crustaceans.

Although the fatality rate in infected humans is low, the parasite can cause eosinophilic meningitis if it dies in a person’s brain which can lead to a coma and/or death.

Adults who become infected suffer from headaches, stiff neck, fever, vomiting, nausea, and paralysis. Children suffer from nausea, vomiting and fever.

Animals that are infected can get meningitis, weakness in their limbs or even paralysis, neck pain and central nervous system problems.

Prevention involves washing produce since snails can be very small. Children should be taught not to handle or eat snails. If they handle a snail they must wash their hands. To prevent infection in pets, check their living area including watering troughs or dishes, and watch to make sure that your animals do not eat snails.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170628131625.htm

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5 thoughts on “Rat lungworm can cause meningitis in humans and animals

  1. They have been having problems with this on the Big Island of Hawaii, and Maui — just awful :((

    http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/28805733/rat-lungworm-disease-spreads-fear-across-hawaii-island

    “It’s infective to rats, but it’s also infective to humans and dogs — and we’ve had a lot of cases in horses that have had to be put down because the slug or possibly even the slime trail from the slug or snail is infected,” explained UH Hilo College of Pharmacy Researcher Dr. Susan Jarvi . . .

    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/05/poisoned-in-paradise-rat-lungworm-nightmare-in-hawaii/#.WV28EVFunIU

    http://pharmacy.uhh.hawaii.edu/rlw/faq.php

    Like

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