While east Maui is currently in focus, windward Hawaii Island has been strugling with this since 2004 (first evidence of semislug Parmarian) and 2005 (first cluster of human Angiostrongylis / rat lung worm infections). Ongoing and future goals should include prevention (or best efforts at containment) of Parmarian infestations of Kula and upcountry Maui, and Moloka’i, and Lana’i and Kauai. This is an emerging infectious disease disaster largely precipitated by human relocation of snails from Africa and South America (as food sources and aquarium pets) and redistribution of infected rats thru cargo ships across the Pacific basin and beyond.

Best response should coordinate existing East Maui and Hawaii Island resources. There is much strength in our two communities colaborating. We can live safely if we think through our interventions. A thoughtful community plan is now essential.

~ Chad Meyer M.D.

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