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Old April 20th, 2017, 03:37 AM
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Default Parasitic disease Rat Lungworm

Newest health concern for Hawaii, Rat Lungworm. The parasite is carried by critters including snails and slugs. The health department is giving the wise advice to well wash all veggies, and other common sense suggestion.

So, what does today's news bring? There is a new outbreak on Hawaii Island, and the source according to a StarAdvertiser report?
Quote:
The new reports stem from a single incident in Keaau on Hawaii island where six state residents drank kava, which is made from the piper methysticum plant and is used to promote relaxation. After downing the homemade brew, which had been sitting outside all night, they discovered slugs at the bottom of the large bowl.
EEwwwww

Left outside all night??? Have those folks never heard of how to catch African Snails (bury a can with the lid removed, up to the rim, then pour in a couple of inches of beer, and the snails will fall in and drown. Messy, but effective). Anyway, leaving a food-based liquid outside overnight really is inviting critters in for a swim.

Now we not only have to worry about "who made the potato salad" (kept cold enough?), we have to worry about "who made the kava" (kept secure from critters?).
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Parasitic disease Rat Lungworm

From the StarAdvertiser today:
Quote:
There is no medical treatment for rat lungworm, but most patients recover fully, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 2007 more than 50 people in Hawaii have contracted the disease in Hawaii, including two who died.
Most people "fully recover", but 4% have died? Guess that's like saying, "Most people fully recover from auto accidents, but you might be one that dies". To increase chances of survival while driving, most of us never drive DUI, always wear a seat belt, don't speed on wet roads.... etc.

So,what is enough to scare people from chancing eating local produce? Are you Ok, but only if you consume produce that you've carefully washed yourself? Only produce from farmers who use rat and slug control? No more restaurant salads or sandwiches?

Quote:
Scott Enright, director of the state Department of Agriculture, said the case of a vacationing honeymoon couple contracting rat lungworm this year involved kale smoothies bought from a roadside stand in Hana.
Is it now the time to no longer consumer smoothies that you haven't washed the ingredients yourself?

Quote:
....two cases involved people who drank kava from a bowl that had been left out overnight. A slug was discovered at the bottom of the bowl after it was emptied.
No more homemade kava that was left out uncovered all night? [Well, that rule is already in place for me! ]
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Last edited by Amati; April 22nd, 2017 at 09:24 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2017, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Parasitic disease Rat Lungworm

[From the online Honolulu Civil Beat.]

Here's a bit of background information from the article:
Quote:
....semi-slugs, the diseaseís most dangerous carrier because 80 percent are infected with the lethal parasites.
Keep reading, yikes, are even papaya at risk? So far, the state's focus has been on ground-grown vegetables such as lettuce. But are tree fruit also at risk?
Quote:
ďI have trouble peeling the tough skin on an eggplant, but semi-slugs carve their way in and eat it right off. They climb 20-foot papaya trees, eat the fruit and kill the trees.
I know that some restaurants will simply "cut off" the "bad spots" of fruit and vegetables. Are fruits like mangos putting us at risk? Tomatoes? Lots of fruits/vegetables that are damaged have the damaged section trimmed off, but what if a tiny slug has invaded inside and is not cut off? Ugh.

The state really needs to be ramping up their study and information distribution about this disease.
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Old April 26th, 2017, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Parasitic disease Rat Lungworm

Probably best to eat cooked vegetables. Can't say the same about cooking fruits.
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Old April 26th, 2017, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Parasitic disease Rat Lungworm

I was checking out the stores this past weekend. Lettuce on Kauai went up by like 60 cents per pound because of the lungworm thing affecting local suppliers and deportations slowing down lettuce production in California.
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