Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eric Reinert system was attacked by paralysing disease rat lungworm during a holiday to Hawaii

A microscopic parasite turned a man’s trip to tropical paradise into a medical nightmare.

Eric Reinert, a 22-year-old Minnesota man, has had to learn to walk all over again after contracting rat lungworm disease in Hawaii.

The rare and revolting bug lives in the bodies of rats and turns up in their feces. Snails and slugs often eat the droppings and lay eggs, contaminating water sources.

Rat lungform, or eosinophilic meningitis, can cause permanent nerve and brain damage.

Reinert, who was in Hawaii’s Puna district to learn about organic farming, told WCCO that the illness began with stomach cramps.

Things got worse quickly when the pain spread, leaving him bedridden.

“Just staying as still as I could on my back was the only way I could be at peace for a little bit,” he said.

After a few days, he was unable to cope with the agony and went to the hospital.

Luckily, a doctor figured out that Reinert had rat lungworm, most likely from eating fruits and vegetables that weren’t properly washed. Read More