Parasites cause intense pain for Big Isle victims - Hawaii News

WAILUKU A rare ailment that comes from eating poorly washed local produce has hit three Big Island residents in recent weeks, causing extreme pain and hospitalization. Full Story
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auwe

Napa, CA

#1 Jan 5, 2009
so the parasite is not local. another introduced pest. As what happens when you get too much development and the guys all like make Hawaii like the place thay came from. Feel sorry for the wahine,but in a way its good for get the peoples attention. Wonder if coqui frog egg larve not the cause, them buggahs all over the place too.
Lorena Wong

Honolulu, HI

#2 Jan 5, 2009
I contracted angiostrongylus cantonensis in March '08 and ended up in the hospital with excruciating, debilitating pain. Kaiser Honolulu diagnosed me after 3 months; three spinal taps, two brain MRI's, two spinal 2 MRI's, multiple blood work tests, but had never seen a case like mine before. The parasite died after r3 months, so I was never treated for the rat lungworm disease, which in many cases can cause even more pain.

I'm currently being treated by Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Pien, in Honolulu, who see's 3 cases a year, for the past ten years. I'm heavily medicated for the pain, take steroids, but will recover 100% within 1-3 years.

Since seeing Dr. Pien, my pain level is at a 3 (1-10 where 10 is the worst pain). For 7 months I had been living with pain at a level 8 and barely able to function on a daily basis.

The side effects I suffer from the various pain medications are: weight gain, sleepiness, dry mouth, loopiness, off balance, hyperactivity and slow thinking. These are all worth it to have the pain kept at bay. At least I can live a somewhat normal life without the excruciating daily pain!

My life has changed dramatically since contracting this parasite. I now work out 5 days a week, work diligently to keep a stress free life, meditate every day, take 7 medications every day for the pain and basically keep a very simple life, since that is all I can handle these days. I look forward to recovering 100%, slowly!
ann

Maunaloa, HI

#3 Jan 7, 2009
Auwe makes a good point. Most of the pests (myself included) came from somewhere else. The semislugs that cause most cases of this disease came from Southeast Asia on imported ornamental plants. They have been intercepted on dracena and orchids from Asia. The nettle caterpillar came on palms from Taiwan. It is crazy to import these plants that we already have here just so megastores can sell them for cheap. The legislature passed a law mandating more inspections on imported goods to look for invasive species and Governor Lingle vetoed it, because it would add a minute amount to the cost of goods. What is our quality of life, our environment, worth?
Infested

Metz, France

#4 Jan 7, 2009
No thanks to Linda for sharing. (Sarcasm definitely intended)
ari safari

Lihue, HI

#5 Jan 7, 2009
I think it would be helpful to show a picture of this slug. It looks very different from any other slugs
Drucilla

United States

#6 Jan 9, 2009
Having read many books on parasitology I refuse to eat anything raw. The very thought of an alien worm living and reproducing in my colon is simply offensive!
Ben

Slovenia

#7 Jan 9, 2009
It can be worse. A 'Night of the Living Dead' scenario can be excruciatingly painful and horrifying. Having parasites attack cerebral fluid can be real traumatic.
willie

Farmington, MI

#8 Jan 9, 2009
Drucilla wrote:
Having read many books on parasitology I refuse to eat anything raw. The very thought of an alien worm living and reproducing in my colon is simply offensive!
How about the billions of e-coli that call it home?
rat lungworm disease

Ewa Beach, HI

#11 Jan 10, 2009
Slime trails and disease meningitis have the same source. Warning are issued by CDC.

Kubota article: " A rare ailment that comes from eating poorly washed local produce has hit three Big Island residents in recent weeks, causing extreme pain and hospitalization.

The ailment, rat lungworm disease, is caused by a parasitic worm carried by slugs or snails."
Grinchie

Petaluma, CA

#12 Jan 10, 2009
Lorena Wong wrote:
I contracted angiostrongylus cantonensis in March '08 and ended up in the hospital with excruciating, debilitating pain. Kaiser Honolulu diagnosed me after 3 months; three spinal taps, two brain MRI's, two spinal 2 MRI's, multiple blood work tests, but had never seen a case like mine before. The parasite died after r3 months, so I was never treated for the rat lungworm disease, which in many cases can cause even more pain.
I'm currently being treated by Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Pien, in Honolulu, who see's 3 cases a year, for the past ten years. I'm heavily medicated for the pain, take steroids, but will recover 100% within 1-3 years.
Since seeing Dr. Pien, my pain level is at a 3 (1-10 where 10 is the worst pain). For 7 months I had been living with pain at a level 8 and barely able to function on a daily basis.
The side effects I suffer from the various pain medications are: weight gain, sleepiness, dry mouth, loopiness, off balance, hyperactivity and slow thinking. These are all worth it to have the pain kept at bay. At least I can live a somewhat normal life without the excruciating daily pain!
My life has changed dramatically since contracting this parasite. I now work out 5 days a week, work diligently to keep a stress free life, meditate every day, take 7 medications every day for the pain and basically keep a very simple life, since that is all I can handle these days. I look forward to recovering 100%, slowly!
Where was the pain localized? Was the onset extremely sudden?

Thank you for sharing your experience here. We had of woman die from eating a slug on the big island a few years back. It was diced up in the salad greens and unnoticed by the preparer of the victim.

Although the article says it is rare, from my research it is quite common. Just like Leptospirosis.
Grinchie

Petaluma, CA

#13 Jan 10, 2009
Drucilla wrote:
Having read many books on parasitology I refuse to eat anything raw. The very thought of an alien worm living and reproducing in my colon is simply offensive!
Words of Wisdom.

When I was growing up, I remember that the south was rife with hookworm and roundworm parasites, and that southerners were commonly infected with these parasites.

Suddenly in the 70's, you never heard anything about parasites, the infection vectors, nor did doctors ever test for parasites. It's like they said they were no longer a problem. I wonder how many people are full of parasites and just don't know it. Doctors are happy to treat the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, aches and pains, but never look for the cause, which could be as simple as a colony of tiny worms living inside your body.

In India, parasites are a big problem, and they test for them all the time, and over a period of three weeks because they occur in cycles. As your doctor about the statistics for parasites in America. Odds are he won't know or be able to answer it.
Slylvia

Ewa Beach, HI

#15 Jan 10, 2009
Leptospirosis is bacterial. This is a larger worm parasite. Misinformation and falsehoods are dangerous.
Grinchie

Petaluma, CA

#16 Jan 10, 2009
ari safari wrote:
I think it would be helpful to show a picture of this slug. It looks very different from any other slugs
It looks very much like a slug, but it's different... These things are travelers, and they crawl over Everything! Thay crawl up Canopy Tents, Water Tanks, Into your Water tanks, everywhere.

In a rain forest climate thay can number in the thousands per hundred square feet. All it takes in one female to sneak in on a plant and you can have an INFESTATION in a few weeks.

Personally, I think it's the creepiest invasive yet, and it's on my list to find a way to control it somehow.

I had a sudden onset of something a few years back, which was never really diagnosed, but it knocked me out of action for months. Doctors just prescribed pain meds which didn't work, and when I gave up on them, had to endure 2 weeks of Cold Turkey withdrawls on top of the already severe pain. It was truly one of the more Hellish experiences of my life. I was so glad I just quit the pain meds though, otherwise who knows what other problems they could have given me.

Strangely enough, after I made it through the withdrawls, the symptoms and pain cleared up and I was able to eat and flush wastes properly, so the pain killers where overloading the clean out mechanism somehow.
Schmuck

United States

#18 Jan 10, 2009
Specialty salads ordered.
Grinchie

Petaluma, CA

#20 Jan 12, 2009
Slylvia wrote:
Leptospirosis is bacterial. This is a larger worm parasite. Misinformation and falsehoods are dangerous.
Leptospirosis is among the common Tropical diseases that are underplayed by the media in Hawaii.

At no point did I compare Leptospiridosis as being similar to Rat Lungworm, other than implying it is another potentially deadly and not so uncommon problem in Hawaii in general.

I am curoius as to other than Lepto and Rat Lungworm being caused by two different organisms, one being simple, and another being more advanced, which is obvious because they are both unique, what Falsehoods and misinformation are you referring to?

I'd like to know if I'm spreading falsehoods and misinfortion, because I'll go back to the CDC, DOH and tell them they got it wrong... Slylvia said so...
Matt Gies

United States

#21 Jan 14, 2009
This is a ridiculous and easily-solved problem.

You could eat all the raw veggies you want, without fear--if only the nuclear-energy-paranoid among us would let us use food irradiation, already. This is a tested, tried and true, safe method to kill ALL food-borne pathogens, on a micro- and macroscopic scale. And unlike pasteurization, it causes no change to food quality.
Mollusk

United States

#23 Jan 14, 2009
Try it you might like it.
Grinchie

Petaluma, CA

#25 Jan 14, 2009
Matt Gies wrote:
This is a ridiculous and easily-solved problem.
You could eat all the raw veggies you want, without fear--if only the nuclear-energy-paranoid among us would let us use food irradiation, already. This is a tested, tried and true, safe method to kill ALL food-borne pathogens, on a micro- and macroscopic scale. And unlike pasteurization, it causes no change to food quality.
Another expert? You have any idea what kind of chemicals Irradiation creates in foods? You actullay trust the USDA when they say Irraditation is safe? Did you know that Irraditation creates a certain type of chemical in fats that is so prevalent, thet they have patented it as a market to detect illegal irradiation of food?

Contrary to your remark, irradiated food is actually not welcome in many companies, mainly because producers use it to cut costs and produce food in dirty facilities, then "ZAP" it with the cure all. Secondly, irradiation doesn't kill all pathogens, just a majority of them, but it makes little difference since one hour in a warm spot can double the entire remaining population.

But.. This is not about irraditation. This is about parasite facilitated by an invasive species, so your attempt to spread misinformation regarding the benefits of a questionable irradiation techniques vs food grown in a healthy environment are without merit.

Theire is healthy irradiation available, unfortunately, the commercial process is far from it.

You are definately a very brave soul.
Angry in Puna

Honolulu, HI

#28 Jan 16, 2009
I go out every night and with a bowl of hydrated lime, get all the slugs I see. They are seasonal, appearing during the wet winter months. These horrible mollusks have spread so quickly: a few years ago, they were not on my property. Now, they have migrated from Papaya Farms Road and climb on every surface they come to: the car, the catchment tank, outdoor trashcans, rock walls, leaves... It's disgusting.
I think that part of the problem is the Ag Inspection at airports and harbors. They are so adamant about not taking things OUT of Hawaii, but ANYTHING can get INTO Hawaii: coquis, slugs, brown tree snakes. The state needs to keep up with their inspections.
Also, what about the doctors? We 'import' doctors from the mainland who know nothing about tropical diseases, and so they turn away people who have these diseases such as rat lungworm, and eventhose affected by the vog: malpractice, anyone? They don't even listen, but call you crazy, say there's nothing wrong with you, and send you home. THey've done it to my mother, and they've done it to a friend of mine: the 24-year old man from Puna who was Medivaced to Queens on Oahu because Hilo turned him away. He too is in a coma and dying.
I blame the medical teams who come to Hawaii without any study in tropical diseases; I blame the State for not paying attention to invasive species coming into Hawaii. Something needs to be done before ohter deadly critters reach our home.

Since: Nov 08

Anchorage, AK

#29 Jan 16, 2009
Angry in Puna wrote:
I go out every night and with a bowl of hydrated lime, get all the slugs I see. They are seasonal, appearing during the wet winter months. These horrible mollusks have spread so quickly: a few years ago, they were not on my property. Now, they have migrated from Papaya Farms Road and climb on every surface they come to: the car, the catchment tank, outdoor trashcans, rock walls, leaves... It's disgusting.
I think that part of the problem is the Ag Inspection at airports and harbors. They are so adamant about not taking things OUT of Hawaii, but ANYTHING can get INTO Hawaii: coquis, slugs, brown tree snakes. The state needs to keep up with their inspections.
Also, what about the doctors? We 'import' doctors from the mainland who know nothing about tropical diseases, and so they turn away people who have these diseases such as rat lungworm, and eventhose affected by the vog: malpractice, anyone? They don't even listen, but call you crazy, say there's nothing wrong with you, and send you home. THey've done it to my mother, and they've done it to a friend of mine: the 24-year old man from Puna who was Medivaced to Queens on Oahu because Hilo turned him away. He too is in a coma and dying.
I blame the medical teams who come to Hawaii without any study in tropical diseases; I blame the State for not paying attention to invasive species coming into Hawaii. Something needs to be done before ohter deadly critters reach our home.
Another potential contributor to this issue is the proliferation of organic farms throughout the islands. They don't use any pesticides and only lighthly wash the vegetables in tap water.

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