Hawaii lawmakers allocate funds for rat lungworm research

Hawaii lawmakers allocate funds for rat lungworm research
(Image: University of Hawaii)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The state Legislature has announced that a $300,000 allocation will be made in the state budget to fund rat lungworm disease research at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that lawmakers on Friday announced the funding will go toward programs related to the prevention and eradication of rat lungworm disease.

Democrat state Rep. Chris Todd of Hilo said the funding will recur every year "until it's no longer needed." Todd said funding for rat lungworm research at UH-Hilo has been an issue since before he took office last year.

Rat lungworm disease is caused by a parasite found in rats and is transmitted to slugs and snails. Humans who contract the parasite can sustain severe damage to the brain and spinal cord.

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