Symptoms of rat lungworm in adults are headache, stiff neck, fever, vomiting, nausea and numbness of the face and limbs. For children, the most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting and fever, according to researchers at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine and the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The fatality rate of rat lungworm is low, researchers said. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid consuming raw or under-cooked snails and vegetables that are not properly washed or cooked.
So why is this parasite showing up in the Sunshine State?
Authors of the study suggest that recent flooding in the Gulf Coast area might have increased snail activity, leading to more infections.