Meet the UH Hilo researchers working to understand to Rat Lungworm disease and its devastating consequences, and hear survivors share their stories of how this dangerous parasite has drastically impacted their lives.
We live in Hawai‘i, where we are able to grow our own fresh produce year-round. But there is a potentially deadly parasite called Rat Lungworm, whose tiny larvae (less than 0.5 mm) are sometimes left on raw fruits and vegetables by infected slugs and snails. If ingested by humans, the worms migrate to the central nervous system and brain, where they can cause excruciating pain, neurological damage and even death.
This can be a very serious disease, which is reported globally in places with warm climates, including Hawai‘i. Dr. Sue Jarvi, professor and department chair of pharmaceutical sciences at UH Hilo’s Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, along with the Hawai‘i Island Rat Lungworm Working Group, is studying the disease and working to educate the public on the dangers associated with it. But they need your help.
Our community needs more in-depth information on the basic biology of Rat Lungworm disease, and on how to prevent contracting it through proper food sanitation and growth, safe use of catchment water and best practices for pest (vector) control. While there is some information available about avoiding the parasite (see Rat Lungworm FAQ), there is far more research needed to fully understand and combat it.
By supporting the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy Rat Lungworm Disease Research Fund, you can help provide education for the public and follow-up care for people who have the disease, and support research about the long-term impacts of this devastating and debilitating disease.
This effort is being supervised by Dr. Jarvi, the leading Rat Lungworm researcher at UH Hilo.
Please make a gift and help educate our community so that we all stay healthy!