Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Hawaii Warns Tourists Of Parasitic Worm That Can Burrow Into Human Brains

Hawaii Warns Tourists Of Parasitic Worm That Can Burrow Into Human Brains

Parasitic Worm, Hawaii

If you have plans to go to Hawaii this summer, take note! The state’s health department has recently released warnings about a parasitic worm capable of infecting humans and affecting the brain and spinal cord. While you might be determined to prevent anything from ruining your island vacation, this squirmy bugger just might!

What’s Happening with the Parasitic Worm in Hawaii?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been three brand new cases of United States mainland adults infected with this brain worm while visiting Hawaii Island. These three cases were completely unrelated, become infected at different times, and all lived in different places. They bring the state’s case total to 5 infections in 2019 and 10 infections in 2018. These numbers don’t represent the 17 confirmed cases that occurred back in the year 2017 or the two recorded cases in the previous decade. According to officials, this new eruption in parasitic worm infections is due to a boom in the population of semi-slugs, a carrier of the worm.

What Is Hawaii’s Parasitic Worm?

Disgust is any reasonable person’s reaction to hearing about any kind of parasitic worm! But it might be worth your while to learn a bit about them. In all of the Hawaii cases, the particular parasite was the rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis). As their name suggests, this nasty creature usually makes its home inside the lungs of rats. Females lay eggs there and then young worms abandon their nest soon in order to discover their own home.

Nature takes its somewhat revolting course when the larvae get coughed up the rat’s airway, then swallowed and passed through their digestive system. Snails, slugs, and other feces-eating bugs soon become intermediate hosts until new rodents eat these infested mollusks. Prepubescent parasites make their temporary home in the rat’s brain until they’re mature enough to resettle and reproduce in the lungs.

According to the State of Hawaii Department of Health, “You can get angiostrongyliasis by eating food contaminated by the larval stage of A. cantonensis worms. In Hawaii, these larval worms can be found in raw or undercooked snails or slugs. Sometimes people can become infected by eating raw produce that contains a small infected snail or slug, or part of one.”

How to Prevent a Rat Lungworm Infection

Diagnosing a rat lungworm infection is difficult. Some cases are entirely symptomless and blood tests don’t identify the parasite. Typically patients infected with the worm are left to manage their own symptoms while they wait for the worm to die on its own. This usually happens before the worm is able to infest a human’s lungs.

If you plan to visit Hawaii any time soon, carefully inspect and thoroughly wash all produce purchased in store. Once you purchase it, keep your produce properly sealed in airtight containers. Avoid eating snails or slugs in Hawaii. Wash any food item that might have come into contact with snails or slugs, such as salad fixings that snails or slugs might have used as grazing foods.

Conclusion

It’s important to be careful with what you eat anytime you travel. Be sure you wash all fruits and vegetables, only eat meat that’s fully cooked, and do not drink the tap water. If you’re going to Hawaii this summer, just be extra careful with fruits and vegetables. Rat lungworm isn’t something to scoff at!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

More ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria?

More ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria?

News Picture: Another Climate Change Threat: More 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria?

A flesh-eating bacteria has migrated into the Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey, drawn north by the warmer waters of climate change, doctors say.

Five cases of infection with Vibrio vulnificusoccurred in 2017 and 2018 along the Delaware Bay, compared to one infection with the devastating bacteria in the eight years prior, researchers said.

The infections resulted in one death and multiple rounds of surgery to save the other patients. One had all his limbs removed at the elbows and knees due to severe bacterial infection, said Dr. Katherine Doktor, an infectious disease specialist at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.

“In order to stop the infection, the person needs antibiotics and they need to be taken to the OR [operating room] quickly so any infected tissue can be removed, so it doesn’t spread further,” she said.

But Doktor added that the bacteria tends to strike hardest at people with pre-existing health problems like liver disease, diabetes, kidney failure or a compromised immune system.

“Just going to the beach or going to the bay is not going to make you sick,” she said. “These people usually have a cut and the infected water gets into the cut, or they eat raw seafood that’s infected.”

Vibrio bacteria cause an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States each year, with most infections in May through October when water temperatures are warm, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One in five people with this type of infection die, sometimes within days of becoming ill, the CDC warns.

Because the bacteria thrive in warmer, salty water, it’s usually found mostly in southern waters, Doktor said.

But cases of Vibrio infection began showing up in emergency rooms along the Delaware Bay a few years back, Doktor and her colleagues reported June 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Four of the cases involved middle-aged or older men who had been crabbing in the bay or eating crabs taken from the bay, the doctors said. The fifth case involved a man who worked at a seafood restaurant in New Jersey.

Wound infections affecting a person’s limbs occur through breaks in the skin, while eating tainted seafood can cause intestinal and bloodstream infections, the researchers said. Large blood blisters start popping up at sites where skin cells are dying off, Doktor explained.

“On average, people need to be taken back to the OR two to four times to remove any tissue that has died,” she said.

It’s not just in the United States that Vibrio is migrating northward, Doktor said. In Europe, infections with the bacteria have extended as far north as Norway.

Dr. Amesh Adalja is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore. He said, “Vibrio vulnificus infections contracted in the Delaware Bay, an area not known to be endemic for the bacteria, should serve as an important reminder that infectious diseases can expand from their traditional areas so long as the environment is hospitable to them.” Adalja was not involved with the new report.

“If certain bodies of water have had temperature changes that allow Vibrio vulnificus to flourish in a new region, it will be important that clinicians have heightened awareness of this serious, and sometimes fatal, infection in order to diagnose and treat it appropriately,” Adalja added.

Doktor advised that shellfish lovers should exercise caution when having a seafood meal, especially if they have a health condition that compromises their body’s ability to stave off infection.

“Some people, when they shuck the crabs, they use gloves,” she said. “I would protect your skin by wearing gloves.”

You might want to think twice about hitting the raw bar, too.

“As an infectious disease physician, I don’t think people should be eating raw seafood,” Doktor said. “But if you don’t have any of these risk factors, the chance of infection is much, much lower.”

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Benefits of Ginger

Ginger: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory Spice For Nausea And Motion Sickness

Ginger: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory Spice For Nausea and Motion Sickness

If minor aches and pains are an issue for you, try ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory agent that is useful for relieving symptoms associated with arthritis, bursitis, motion sickness, nausea and more. Ginger is commonly available in forms ranging from whole fresh root, crystallized ginger and honey-based ginger syrups to capsules containing powdered extracts. Look for products made with only 100 percent pure ginger. For inflammatory conditions, take 1,000 to 2,000mg (or 1 to 2 grams) of powdered ginger a day; for nausea and prevention of motion sickness, take 1,000 mg as a preventive, following that with 500 mg every four hours as needed. (You may also try eating two pieces of crystallized ginger, taking a spoonful of ginger syrup or sipping ginger tea.)

 

To prevent high doses from causing stomach irritation, take ginger with food. Ginger may also act as a blood thinner, so curbing daily use at least two weeks before surgery is advisable. If you are pregnant, use ginger to address morning sickness with some caution – I would not recommend using more 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day divided into two to four doses throughout, particularly during the early stages of pregnancy.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/