Concern growing for brain-invading worms, spread by slugs and rats
Who wants to go to Maui? "In April, one of the patients with a confirmed infection, 47-year-old Tricia Mynar, told Honolulu Civil Beat: “The parasites are in the lining of my brain, moving around.” She described the feeling as if “every once in a while somebody opens the top of my head, sets a hot iron inside my brain, then pushes the steam button.” As the name suggests, rat lungworm is a parasitic roundworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) that infects rats’ lungs as well as their blood and brains. Infected rats poop out worm larvae, which can be picked up by snails, slugs, lizards, land crabs, and freshwater shrimp. These are intermediate hosts that shed the worm. Humans can pick up the infection by handling or eating any infected critter or by eating produce that has been contaminated by roaming infected snails and slugs."