Island Issues podcasts: interviews on RLW

Diagnosis and Treatment, Food Safety, In the news, RLW Communication
Sherry Bracken did a four-part series of interviews on LAVA 105.3 regarding rat lungworm disease, that are available now as podcasts on their website. Click the title of each podcast to go to the page where the audio can be download. Rat Lungworm–the basics with Dr Jon Martell, Dr Susan Jarvi, Marlena Dixon We begin our updates on angiostrongylus, rat lungworm, a truly horrific disease, with a rebroadcast of our 2015 basics with Dr. Jon Martell of Hilo Medical Center, Dr Susan Jarvi of UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, and Marlena Dixon, representing State Department of Health.  In coming weeks we get an update from Drs Martell and Jarvi, plus an interview with State Department of Health about the $1 million they’ve been allocated for the disease and with members of the…
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Hanaside News RLW Update

Hanaside News RLW Update

Food Safety, In the news, RLW Communication
The following update was submitted to the Hanaside News for publication in the upcoming issue: Rat Lungworm UpdateSince rat lungworm (RLW) disease cases in East Maui made the news last April, and the Department of Health scheduled a well-attended community meeting, our residents have become much more aware of the risks of this disease, and the necessary steps to prevent it. A diagnosis of rat lungworm infection can only be confirmed after examination of spinal fluid obtained by spinal tap (aka lumbar puncture or LP).  Although the name "spinal tap" causes fear, the procedure is safe and relatively pain free if performed by an experienced physician (local lidocaine anesthesia provides numbness and the procedure is often described as less painful than taking a typical office blood sample). In addition, it…
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Experts say more research is needed

Diagnosis and Treatment, Food Safety, In the news
“We all should consider that a good portion of rats, slugs and snails in Hawaii are likely infected. It’s important to inspect, wash and store all produce carefully, and reduce or prevent snails/slugs from entering gardens by using raised beds, copper tape and poison control,” Dela Cruz said. “Like many health issues, prevention is key.” http://westhawaiitoday.com/5675310.html
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Water Storage Safety

Food Safety, Vector Control
Chris Baz with Eco Products Maui, who has years of experience installing and maintaining catchment systems on Maui, has offered protocols on safe water storage for RLW prevention. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has published Guidelines on Rainwater Catchment in Hawaii by Patricia S. Macomber, including information on: 1. Water collection—how to catch the water, how much water you need 2. Water storage—what to keep it in 3. Catchment system maintenance—identifying problems, keeping the tank clean 4. Water treatment—sources of water contamination, principles of water treatment 5. Water testing—keeping tabs on water quality 6. Fire fighting concerns
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Protocol for safe water storage ~ by Chris Baz

Food Safety, Vector Control
WATER STORAGE AND CATCHMENT TANK SAFETY 1. Make sure water tank cover is totally tight on the top edge of the tank with no tears in the mesh or open places from the outside into the water. Watch out for anything compromising the seal of the cover to the tank top edge. You may need to redo the overflow system or incoming water supply. 2. If in doubt about the tank cover sealing to the top edge put a 1/8" aircraft cable around the cover to the tank and tighten it to the body of the tank with turnbuckles. You will need a tank level indicator to see the water level if the tank. 3. Make sure there is a screen between the roof gutters and tank (we supply debris…
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Rat Lungworm Disease in East Maui ~ by Chad Meyer MD

Rat Lungworm Disease in East Maui ~ by Chad Meyer MD

Diagnosis and Treatment, Food Safety, RLW Communication, RLW Educational Material, Vector Control
Fortunately dengue virus did not become established in east Maui as a result of the 2001 dengue fever outbreak. Effective interventions included community responses to decrease mosquito breeding sites, and a vigorous campaign by local public health personnel and resources from CDC Atlanta and Puerto Rico. It is also worth noting that dengue fever outbreaks generally occur in crowded urban settings and that rural conditions in east Maui were in our favor. (more…)
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