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DOH NEWS RELEASE: Public invited to attend series of informational meetings on rat lungworm disease around Oahu 

Posted on Oct 23, 2017 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), along with its partners at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), will be hosting a series of community meetings on rat lungworm disease on Oahu.

Meetings will take place at the following dates and locations from 6–8 p.m.:

  • Thursday, Oct. 26: Ala Wai Elementary School Cafeteria
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8: Ewa Elementary School Cafeteria
  • Thursday, Nov. 9: Kaneohe Elementary School Cafeteria

Those interested in learning more about rat lungworm disease are encouraged to attend. Special presentations will be given by health and agricultural officials on how the public can prevent the spread of rat lungworm disease by controlling rat, snail and slug populations, especially around the home and in the garden.

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

The disease is not spread from person-to-person. People become infected by accidentally consuming snails or slugs sometimes hidden on unwashed produce, or from eating undercooked snails, freshwater prawns, crabs and frogs.

In 2017, there have been 17 laboratory-confirmed cases of rat lungworm disease statewide.

For more information about the disease and how to prevent its spread, visit:

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Media Contacts:

Anna Koethe
Communications Office
(808) 586-4434

Janice Okubo
Communications Office
(808) 586-4445