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Oahu resident contracts rat lungworm brain parasite

Updated: 
August 9, 2017 - 4:09pm

HONOLULU (AP) — The state Department of Health says an Oahu resident has contracted rat lungworm, a potentially deadly brain parasite.

The department said Wednesday it’s not known how the individual got the disease. The person began experiencing symptoms last month.

An investigation is continuing.

This is Hawaii’s 16th case of rat lungworm this year. Other cases have been on Maui and the Big Island.

People get the disease by eating food contaminated by the larvae of a roundworm. People can avoid it by not eating raw snails or slugs and by properly washing produce.

Symptoms can range from mild headaches to temporary paralysis. Hawaii has had two deaths from rat lungworm since 2007.

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