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Rep. Hanabusa Urges CDC to Address Rat Lungworm Disease

April 12, 2018, 9:17 AM HST
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Rep. Colleen Hanabusa announced on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, that she is pushing for language directing the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to limit and reduce incidents of infection for Angiostrongylus cantonensis, also known as rat lungworm disease, in the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bills.

Hanabusa asked for the language in a letter to Congressman Tom Cole, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services Education and Related Agencies and Ranking Member Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.

The letter also asks for research to better understand and diagnose the disease and points out there is no specific treatment.

There were 18 reported cases of rat lungworm disease in Hawai‘i last year and three confirmed cases so far in 2018.

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“There needs to be more research done in Hawai‘i and around the world to better understand this disease so that we can improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment,” wrote Rep. Hanabusa. “It is the government’s responsibility to ensure we collect the best knowledge on this and other emerging diseases for our nation’s public health and safety.”

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