Dr. Robert Cowie served as Guest Editor of a recent special issue of the Hawaiʻi Journal of Medicine & Public Health, featuring research presented at the 2011 Rat Lungworm Disease Scientific Workshop held in Honolulu. Dr. Cowie, of PBRC, and Jim Hollyer, of CTAHR, organized the international workshop to bring together experts in parasitology, disease epidemiology, and patient treatment to address public health concerns about the parasitic infection known as "rat lungworm disease". Rat lungworm disease is a serious disease causing inflammation and damage to the brain and nervous system, and is contracted when the parasitic worms, carried by snails and slugs, are accidentally ingested. The issue of the journal includes articles from workshop presenters on issues such as the basic biology of the parasite and its hosts, and the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease.
Dr. Cowie continues to educate the public about rat lungworm disease, and his recent interview (in French) on Radio Canada discussing the invasion of giant African snails in Florida and their role in carrying the parasite that causes rat lungworm disease is posted on the Radio Canada Science Blog webpage.
More information about how to minimize exposure to rat lungworm disease can be found at the CTAHR website: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/FST-39.pdf.