An informational meeting on rat lungworm disease will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. July 6 at the ILWU Hall in Lanai City.

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“An informational meeting on rat lungworm disease will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. July 6 at the ILWU Hall in Lanai City.

The event, hosted by the state Department of Health Maui District Health Office, will include an opportunity for the public to ask questions. Public health experts and community partners who are working to stem the causes of the disease will share their findings and recommendations. Officials with the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources, the Maui Invasive Species Committee and Maui School Garden Network will be on hand to talk about disease prevention.

Rat lungworm is a rare disease caused by the parasite angiostrongylus cantonensis, which is found in rats, slugs and snails. The disease affects the brain and spinal cord and occurs when a person ingests raw or undercooked snails or slugs or unwashed raw produce such as leafy greens. To date, the Health Department has confirmed 15 cases of the illness in Hawaii this year, including four Maui residents and two Maui visitors.

For information on the disease, go online to mauiready.org/ratlungworm or health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease_listing/rat-lungworm-angiostrongyliasis.

For more information on the event, call the Health Department office on Lanai at (808) 565-7114 or on Maui at 984-8201.”

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