The state Joint Task Force on Rat Lungworm Disease, chaired by an associate professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), has announced new guidelines for clinical management of rat lungworm disease.
“One of the top priorities of the joint task force has been to develop sound, evidence-based guidelines for physicians to use in diagnosing and treating angiostrongyliasis,” said Kenton Kramer, an associate professor in JABSOM’s Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology. “The clinical subcommittee, made up of expert physicians and specialists from across the state, spent the last year researching and consulting with national and international specialists on the disease to carefully craft the new guidelines.”
JABSOM Associate Professor Vernon Ansdell, who has more than 45 years of experience specializing in internal and tropical medicine, spearheaded the effort to organize and chaired the clinical subcommittee.
“(This disease) can be problematic, because patients infected with the parasite do not always present the same symptoms,” said Ansdell. “These preliminary guidelines provide critical guidance to physicians to help them make timely and accurate diagnoses and give their patients the best possible treatment available. Our next step is to offer physician training in all counties to increase awareness and understanding of this complex disease.”