Maui News

Rat Lungworm Meeting Planned for Lāna‘i City, July 6

June 26, 2017, 3:30 PM HST
* Updated June 27, 6:52 AM
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The Hawai‘i State Department of Health, Maui District Health Office, will host a public informational meeting on rat lungworm disease on Thursday, July 6, on Lāna‘i. Public health experts will share recommendations on prevention.

PC: Hawaiʻi Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control

So far, the Department of Health has confirmed 15 cases of the illness in Hawai‘i this year, including nine from Hawai‘i Island, four Maui residents and two visitors to Maui.

The disease is caused by a parasite found in rats, slugs and snails, and occurs in humans who ingest raw or under-cooked snails or slugs, or unwashed raw produce.

The Lāna‘i meeting takes place at 5 p.m., at the ILWU Hall in Lāna‘i City.

A number of public health experts and community partners will be present to share their findings and recommendations on preventing the spread of rat lungworm, including the DOH, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources, the Maui Invasive Species Committee and Maui School Garden Network.

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DOH has launched a number of initiatives to address rat lungworm. Together with partner agencies, community meetings have been held across Maui and Molokai to educate the public on rat lungworm and to share best practices on the prevention of this disease, including the proper care and washing of produce, as well as rodent and slug control.

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DOH food safety inspectors have also worked with permitted food establishments on hygiene and food preparation, and medical advisories were sent to physicians and hospitals to increase awareness of the disease. DOH is planning future public information efforts to educate residents and visitors about rat lungworm.

For additional information on the disease, go online or click here. Call the DOH office on Lāna‘i at (808) 565-7114 or on Maui at (808) 984-8201 for more details on the meeting.

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