Rat Lungworm Lands Puna Resident in Coma on Oahu… Two Other Sick in Puna… Others Uninsured

Just noticed this in the Starbulletin:

Just realized that reader Harry clued me into this the other day. The problem was, he gave me the link to the HFP blog and I generally avoid that blog so I skipped over it casually w/out reading the article in full.

A rare ailment that comes from eating poorly washed local produce has hit three Big Island residents in recent weeks, causing extreme pain and hospitalization.

The ailment, rat lungworm disease, is caused by a parasitic worm carried by slugs or snails…

…Halda said he and a friend, Silka Strauch, who live in Black Sands between Pahoa and Kalapana, have been eating raw vegetables and taking precautions by cleaning the produce with a peroxide rinse.

Siltka Strauch

Silka Strauch

He suspects they may have accidentally consumed tiny larvae of slugs lodged in the deep folds of peppers.

Halda said Strauch came down with agonizing pain, but no one at Hilo Medical Center could find anything wrong with her initially and she was not admitted to the hospital.

“I had to take her home … three separate times,” he said. “No one should have to be turned away.”

Halda said Strauch was unable to walk and had pain so intense that even the slightest touch hurt her.

“You couldn’t even put a sheet on her,” he said.

He said Strauch was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 8, and he was admitted on Dec. 15.

Strauch has been in a coma for several days, he said…

A 24-year-old Puna man was admitted to Hilo Medical Center with a case last week.

She said others have contracted the disease but have not gone to the hospital because they do not have medical insurance

More Here


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