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Big Island infant diagnosed with brain parasite

January 12, 2019

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health says a Big Island infant who fell ill in December has been confirmed as 2018′s eighth case of rat lungworm disease in the state.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Friday that the department said in a statement that the East Hawaii child was transported to Oahu for treatment.

The infant is the second child from East Hawaii to contract the disease in 2018. The first was diagnosed in early November.

Rat lungworm disease, also known as angiostrongyliasis, is caused by a parasitic roundworm and can affect a person’s brain and spinal cord.

Larvae can be passed to humans who ingest raw freshwater shrimp, land crabs and snails or raw produce that contains infected slugs or snails and their slime.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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