Rat lungworm disease community meetings to be held on Maui

Photo: Susan Jarvi

Two community meetings will be held in Wailuku and Lahaina to provide information on safety measures and vector control practices to help prevent rat lungworm disease (Angiostrongyliasis).

Tuesday, May 2, 2017: Wailuku
Velma McWayne Santos (Wailuku) Community Center, 395 Waena St., Wailuku
Doors open at 5:00 p.m.; session begins at 5:30 p.m.

Monday, May 8, 2017: Lahaina
Lahaina Civic Center Social Hall, 1840 Honoapiilani Hwy., Lahaina
Doors open at 5:00 p.m.; session begins at 5:30 p.m.

At these town hall-type meetings, presentations will be given on the rat lungworm parasite, current research and measures for controlling slugs, rats and snails; a demonstration on how to wash and care for vegetables and fruits; details on one person’s experience with rat lungworm disease; and Q&A.

Presenters include representatives from the State Department of Health’s Maui District Health Office; the UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR), and the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC).

At a meeting held earlier this month, concerned citizens gathered at the Haiku Community Center. Dr. Lorrin Pang of the Maui District Health Office and other officials discussed safety measures on how to prevent the disease from spreading.

“They like to live in dark moist places, so those are the places where you want to focus. you want to find out where they’re living on your property. and be able to know where they are so you can focus your treatments in those areas,” said urban horticulturist Dr. Cynthia Nazario-Leary.

“They did blood work, and that’s when they found the parasitic levels. In the range that it was supposed to be, it was quadrupled. That was only in five days,” said Tricia Mynar, who has rat lungworm disease.

For questions or more information on the community meetings, call (808) 984-8201.

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