Rat Lungworm disease found in fruits and vegetables - AmericaNowNews.com

Rat Lungworm disease found in fruits and vegetables

Two and a half years ago, Graham McCumber ate some vegetables from his family's garden and it changed his life dramatically.  The theory is he accidentally ate a small slug or snail carrying Rat Lungworm disease - it damaged his brain and nerves and made him a quadriplegic.  After waking from a three month coma, he wasn't given much hope for recovery.

"I feel much better. Much better," said Graham McCumber, recovering from Rat Lungworm Disease. 

He's gone through intense physical therapy and while he's not quite surfing again, he has made huge strides.

"I swim and I can't really stand up and catch a wave, I mean I have but it's not very pretty," said McCumber with a smile.

And by his side through the recovery was a very dedicated mom who had faith.

"I'm thrilled with the outcome because we were given no hope for recovery and I know he's continuing to recover it's just a long very slow process," said Kay Howe.

Even with cases like Graham's there are still a lot of unknowns about the disease, but for the first time in the United States there is a workshop dedicated specifically to Rat Lungworm.

"There are huge gaps in knowledge," said Robert Cowie, PhD., Research Professor with the Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa.  "We don't really have a good handle on how to diagnosis it although it's getting better."

Experts from six countries are in Honolulu discussing research and sharing knowledge.

"The idea is we come together and produce an agenda for the most important research issues that need to be addressed," said Cowie.

In a room full of doctors and scientists Kay Howe is also pushing the need for alternative thinking.

"We've used acupuncture, we've used supplements we've used Chinese medicine, and I think they're all beneficial and need to be looked at," said Howe.

She also says more research is needed on the disease itself.

"And for people in Hawaii we need to raise the education. There are doctors and nurses on the island that don't know anything about it," said Howe.  "It really is a matter of a massive education campaign that needs to happen in Hawaii, on the Big Island in particular."

If nothing else researchers can learn a thing or two about not giving up from a case like Graham's, who will be starting college next week in hopes of becoming a physical therapist.

"I think it would be good to change it up a little bit and exercise my brain," said McCumber.

There is no cure for Rat Lungworm Disease but there are things you can do to prevent it including wash produce carefully, raise pots and planters off the ground to give slugs and snails fewer places to hide and don't touch slugs or snails with your bare hands.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Exclusive: Photos from Inside Anthony Sowell's Home

    Inside Look: Exclusives Photos Paint Disturbing Scene Inside Home of Anthony Sowell

    Saturday, May 1 2010 11:19 AM EDT2010-05-01 16:19:26 GMT
    GRAPHIC PICTURES: CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It was one of the most gruesome sights in Cleveland crime history.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
Powered by WorldNow