As it fights rat lungworm disease, DOH shares this message: Don' - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

As it fights rat lungworm disease, DOH shares this message: Don't drink from the hose

(Image: Hawaii Health Department) (Image: Hawaii Health Department)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The state Health Department has a message for parents: Don't let your kids drink from the hose.

That's because rat lungworm disease-carrying slugs can curl up in garden hoses — and could pass the brain-invading parasite on through the water.

Health officials delivered the message on Facebook with a photo of a slugs curled up in a hose.

And the reaction from Facebook users was fairly ubiquitous: Ewww. 

"I better quit doing that," wrote Missy Peek Carlucci.

Lots of folks also took the message seriously. A day after it had been posted, it was shared more than 2,000 times. 

The state is seeking to raise awareness about rat lungworm disease amid a spike of cases on Hawaii Island and Maui.

Rat lungworm affects the brain and spinal cord. Rodents pass the larvae on in their feces, and other animals (including slugs or snails) can become infected.

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