rat lungworm disease

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Noah King

Noah King

Noah King, a healthy 22-year-old male living in Hawaii became terribly ill with Rat Lungworm Disease.

This is everyone's worst nightmare. Living in Hawaii has its dangers - from the recent eruption of Kilauea Volcano to this crazy feared disease known as Rat Lungworm.

Noah has always been a very healthy individual. Being 22 years of age and a recent graduate from the University of Hawaii at Hilo with a degree in business, his life was on track. But, Noah King was admitted to the emergency center in Waimea, Hawaii for flu-like symptoms that had been persisting for over a week.

A stiff neck, burning sensitive skin, light, sound, smell, taste and touch sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, joint pain, and raging cold to hot flashes, plus the severe never-ending headache.

The doctors at Waimea did various blood work and took an X-ray of his chest but eventually deemed him okay and released him. Days later he saw another doctor, in Kailua-Kona, who prescribed 800mg of IBProfen and sent him away.

His symptoms worsened to an unbearable level. He couldn't sleep, which was his only temporary escape from the pain. He no longer could urinate, or keep any food or medication down. He was in never ending agony.

Then his girlfriend drove him across the island to the Hilo Medical Center where she heard there might be doctors who could help.

Rat Lungworm is a microscopic parasite found in the feces of rats. Slugs and snails will trail right over the excrement and spread the parasite larva in its slime as it move. Most who have been diagnosed with Rat Lungworm ingested local greens that were not properly washed nor cooked.

Once in the intestines, the parasite enters the blood stream and makes its way to the nervous system. Eventually, the parasite can travel all the way into the brain and cause permanent and painful damage to the nervous system.

This disease has no cure and no proper diagnosis. Eventually, the parasite will die in the body because humans are dead-end hosts. However, the damage they cause before death is unpredictable and can be extremely severe.

Victims with Rat Lungworm can become paralyzed, fall into a coma, lose proper vision, suffer extreme and agonizing skin sensitivity and joint pain for the rest of their life, so it is crucial to get immediate treatment.

Before his girlfriend took him to the Hilo Medical Center Noah was about 2 weeks into the disease, so the time to act was 2 weeks prior ideally.

Noah had a spinal tap at the Hilo Medical Center which relieved a lot of the pressure in his neck and spine. His symptoms temporarily melted away, and Noah's personality came back.

It felt like a miracle, but unfortunately it was only temporary. They spoke with a doctor who had previously worked with Rat Lungworm disease victims and Noah was placed on a treatment regimen. Things were looking up.

Noah needs steroids to decrease inflammation of his spine and nervous system, and anti-parasitics to kill the microscopic parasites causing him extreme pain.

He and his girlfriend found out after he was released from the hospital that the anti-parasitics, Albendazole, costs $12,000 for a 12 day treatment.

They went to Longs Drugs pharmacy in Hilo on Kilauea Ave. where the pharmacist called the hospital and spoke with the doctor.

It has been specifically stated that victims cannot use a generic brand for this drug and Noah's insurance (QUEST) does not cover the medication.

They called the insurance company to request an override, but it was not given. Noah did not have many options at this point. He needed help.

His girlfriend started a GoFundMe.com campaign to seek donations for his treatment where she raised enough money for Noah to begin the Albendazole treatment.

He completed it, but he did end up back in the hospital for a couple of nights - however right now he is doing amazing. Better than he has in a long time.

Now they're fixing the nerve damage slowly but surely...

This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.

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