State reports more new cases of rat lungworm disease - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State reports more new cases of rat lungworm disease

(Image: Jarvi Lab, UH Hilo College of Pharmacy) (Image: Jarvi Lab, UH Hilo College of Pharmacy)
HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

State Health Department officials have confirmed two additional cases of rat lungworm disease in Hawaii, bringing the total number of local infections to 13, the agency said Friday. 

The two new cases are unrelated to a Hawaii Island incident in which two men contracted the virus by drinking kava that had been exposed to infected slugs. Officials say it's "highly probably" that four others who drank the kava have also been infected.

In all, seven Big Island residents had already contracted the parasite before this week's new cases, along with four Maui residents and two visitors who had stayed on the Valley Isle.

The two new cases have undetermined sources of exposure, the state says.

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