Hawaii investigates new cases of rat lungworm disease
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WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Maui health officials say six cases of rat lungworm disease have been reported on the island over the past three months. That's three times more cases than the island has seen in the past decade.
Maui District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang says three of the cases have been confirmed, while a seventh case involves a Maui woman who believes she contracted the parasite on the Big Island.
Rat lungworm disease is a condition in which parasitic worm larvae infect people's brains. It is carried by rats and transmitted by snails and slugs.
A vast majority of Hawaii's cases are reported on the Big Island.
Officials say residents can reduce the risk of contracting the potentially life-threatening disease by thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables before consumption.
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