The more you learn, the more you can share. Become an educator and teach your friends, ‘ohana, and neighbors. Show your fresh veggie loving kids how to adopt these healthy habits. This is a preventable disease, caution and knowledge is powerful protection.

FAQ’s

Q – When someone survives the meningitis provoked by ingesting the parasite, do they develop any immunities against a second infection if ingested again?

A – No, though further studies are needed.

Q – Are dogs and cat at risk, livestock?

A – Yes. In puppies it is deadly. Keep pet food and bowls stored in a place safe from slugs, and rinse out the bowls before feeding.

Q – Does UV light or chlorine kill the parasite in catchment water tanks?

A – No. Having proper filters or boiling water is the safest practice. See Protocols for Safe Water Storage, by Chris Baz.

Q – Is the parasite communicable between humans?

A – Only through blood transfusion.

Q – Are mongoose, like rats, a preferable host for the parasite?

A – Unknown, take same precautions around mongoose feces.

Q – Does vinegar, food grade hydrogen peroxide, soap or UV light kill the parasite during the washing?

A – No. Parasite thrives in an acidic environment so vinegar is not advisable. Hydrogen peroxide and UV light has not proven effective.

Q – Are there alternative parasitic drugs or purge methods tested that can halt the parasite if ingestion is suspected?

A – Only if treatment kills the parasite before it reaches the brain. Treatment should be done immediately or within 3 weeks.

Q – How soon after ingesting slug do symptoms appear?

A – 1-3 weeks.

Q – How long can the parasite survive outside the host?

A – 3 hours.

Q – Which slugs are the preferred carriers?

A – The semi-slug (Parmarion martensi) appears to be the most effective vector, due to a high rate of infection, a high infectious load, and habits that bring it into contact with human foods. However, all slugs and snails can be carriers, including the Cuban slug (Veronicella cubensis) and African Snail, and all slugs should be treated with cautionary suspicion and removed using proper vector control methods (pick up with gloves/tongs/chopsticks and put in slug bottle with 20% salt solution, then dispose of bottle).

Links

Rat lungworm (RLW) in East Maui ~ by Chad Meyer, MD

Hilo hospital’s protocol for treatment shows promise ~ by Jeff Hansel

Extensive resource and lesson plans for Educators (and the the rest of us) from UHH

Hana’s Do-It-Yourself Battle Against Rat Lungworm ~ by Tad Bartimus

Field Guide of Snails and Slugs in Hawaii    Color photos by Kay Howe