Hawaii experts study snails to combat rat lungworm disease


About 200 snails on Maui Island are being tested for rat lungworm disease in an attempt to track the mollusks that caused an unparalleled outbreak on the island this year.

The Maui News reported (http://bit.ly/2xCAbOS ) Sunday that from January to March, Maui tallied six of the state’s 16 total cases of the disease. The island had just two recorded cases before this year, one of which was confirmed in 2010.

The outbreak has led the manager of the Maui Invasive Species Committee, Adam Radford, and others to further research causes of the disease, which many point to the introduction of more invasive snails.

Humans are typically infected after eating raw fruits and vegetables contaminated by the slug.

There is no cure for the disease.



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