Rat lungworm documentary on PBS next week

The “Accidental Host” will be broadcast twice next week on PBS Hawaii.


The documentary “Accidental Host” about the dangers of rat lungworm disease will re-air on PBS Hawaii at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 and at 1 p.m. on Feb. 19.

The 53-minute documentary shares the story of patients and experts from Hawaii, Florida, California and Jamaica, and discusses the foodborne parasite known as Angiostrongylus cantonensis that invades the human brain.


“My goal in producing ‘Accidental Host’ was actually three-fold: to raise awareness among at-risk individuals in multiple affected areas, to alert health care professionals, and to create a compelling, accessible documentary for anyone interested in science and a fascinating parasite now present in tropical areas of six continents,” Claire Panosian Dunavan, producer, co-writer and professor of infectious diseases at the University of California at Los Angeles, said in a press release.

The documentary includes interviews with leading global experts like Dr. Vernon Ansdell, who currently chairs the Hawaii Governor’s Task Force on Rat Lungworm Disease, and Esperanza “Espie” Hilton, a 25-year nurse from Hilo Medical Center who shares her personal experience as a patient.

“As the disease spreads across the mainland and to other countries, our goal is to try and stop these tragedies from happening across the world,” said Ansdell during a panel discussion about the documentary in November. “The only way we’re going to get early diagnosis and treatment, to get the chance to prevent these life-changing consequences that result from this disease, is by educating and giving information to the general public and to medical personnel.”

For more information and to watch a trailer, visit www.ratlungwormfilm.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.