Honeymooners contract rat lungworm disease in Hawaii


A California couple vacationing in Hawaii have contracted a brain- and spine-infecting parasite.

The disease affects the brain and spinal cord, and studies show it is spread by a parasite that infects rats.

Although 64-year-old Ben Manilla and 57-year-old Eliza Laupe said they do not know how they got the disease, people can get it by eating contaminated animals like shrimp and land crabs.

“My symptoms started growing to feeling like somebody was taking a hot knife and just stabbing me in different parts of my body,”Laupe said.

The couple, who happened to be on their honeymoon, said they started to feel them symptoms immediately when they returned home.  Manilla had to spend a month in the hospital undergoing rehabilitation.

“I’ve had several operations, two pneumonias, a blood clot. Right now, I’m dealing with a kidney issue, all of which was spurred by the ratlung,” he said.

In 2017 alone, Fox News reports there have been six cases of rat lungworm disease with ties to Maui, and the Hawaii Department of Health is currently investigating several other possible cases.

In a report just published on DennisMichaelLynch.com on Monday, further details had been revealed about this disease, including:

The parasite, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, has reportedly been found in Louisiana, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, but lives primarily in the Pacific Basin and Southeast Asia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It lives in the blood vessels of rats’ lungs, but its larvae are expelled in the rats’ feces and infect slugs and snails, which can pass the larvae on to humans when ingesting raw or undercooked snails or contaminated fruits and vegetables.

H/T: Fox News

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