Visitor becomes 7th rat lungworm patient in 2019

The state Department of Health said Tuesday it was notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about a lab-confirmed case of rat lungworm disease in a visitor to Hawaii Island.

According to DOH, the patient is an adult from the mainland who was visiting West Hawaii. The individual became ill in late June but didn’t seek medical care until the end of July.

Authorities weren’t able to identify an exact source of infection. However, the individual reported eating a lot of fresh, local produce without washing it first. The patient also grew a number of herbs on their lanai during their visit.

This is the seventh confirmed rat lungworm case statewide, including three residents and four visitors, all of whom likely contracted the disease on Hawaii Island.

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