Health officials warn parents: Don’t let your kids drink from the garden hose

Photo: Department of Health

Many of us remember drinking from the garden hose as a kid.

Now, the Hawaii Department of Health is urging against it.

Officials say snails or slugs could be hiding in the hose, and could potentially spread rat lungworm disease.

So far this year, 15 people in Hawaii have gotten sick from the disease.

The disease starts out as a parasitic worm that invades the human brain. The worm is carried by rats, then spread through snails or slugs.

In humans, it can cause headaches, fever and, according to one sufferer, pain worse than childbirth.

Health officials are also reminding the public to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables under running water, in case they carry traces of rat lungworm.

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