- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Feb 09 2017
How Do You Get Rat Lungworm Disease?
It is also known as Angiostronglyus cantonensis which is a parasite that lives in rodents such as rats and can infect snails and slugs that come into contact with infected rat feces. People get infected when they eat an infected snail or slug.
It does not show symptoms or may show very mild symptoms. Very rarely it causes an infection of the brain called eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis. In this condition, people may have headaches, a stiff neck, tingling or pain in the skin, fever, nausea, and vomiting. It is spread by rats as the adult worms are found in rats and these rats excrete the parasite larvae in their feces.
People can get infected if they eat the raw snail or slug or if they eat unwashed lettuce or other raw leafy vegetables that have been contaminated by the slime of infected snails or slugs.
- Don’t eat raw snails or slugs.
- Supervise infants and young children in environments where they may find snails and slugs.
- Wash fresh vegetables and lettuces well before eating in case they have snails or slugs on them.
People infected with rat lungworm often have high numbers of eosinophils in blood or cerebrospinal fluid which can be diagnosed.
Most people recover fully without treatment over days, weeks or months
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