The parasite multiplies in the lungs of rats, spread by a worm, can infect humans and, at worst, kill. That sounds like a gross-out material for an end times movie. However, the rat lung worm, there really is, it was first described in 1935 in rats in China. And, more recently, on the popular German holiday island of Mallorca were found. People suffer from them, but only under very unusual circumstances, such as Tomas Jelinek from Berlin’s centre for travel and tropical medicine explains. To get “the is really hard.”

Nevertheless, the rat lung worm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) is in the conversation, since Mallorca is affected. On a course of expansion it actually is. “In the past, it was a Southeast Asian Problem,” says Jelinek. The has changed. Is widely used the parasite, according to US health authority CDC, in the meantime, in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands, and increasingly he appears, also, in regions such as Africa, the Caribbean and the United States.

Rat lung worm is benefiting from climate change

The rat lung worm is regarded as a so-called “Emerging Disease”, as the spread of disease. “Globalization and climate change are likely to have contributed to the spread,” says Peter-Henning Clausen from the Institute for Parasitology and tropical veterinary medicine of the FU Berlin. Rats travelled as blind passengers, for example, on Board ships around the world. And warmer temperatures took advantage of the parasites, as the larvae development, a certain temperature is necessary. But, that makes you a danger for Europeans?

Review: What exactly is happening on Mallorca? Affected people were just as little known as on the Canary island of Tenerife, where the worm was found, according to a 2010 study in the rat. This was the first Fund in the EU. On Mallorca 2018 two sick hedgehogs were released into a wildlife station – the rat lung worm proved to be the cause. Scientists Claudia Paredes-Esquivel of the University of the Balearic Islands wrote in August in a trade journal about the case: that It was likely that the parasite will be transferred to the island active. Rats and snails, which could facilitate a spread, are ubiquitous.

The parasite multiplies in rats and other rodents: “rats are the preferred Hosts,” explains Clausen. The rodents harboring the adult worm in their lungs, as the German name suggests. The larvae of the parasite pass from the trachea into the throat of the rat, to be swallowed and excreted with the feces.

Snails are only intermediate hosts

Worm larvae can record with the feces. They are called intermediate hosts in which the larvae continue to develop until you have reached for people most contagious stage as Clausen says. People can become infected when you are worm food. Since they are on Mallorca the local cuisine, made of the worm-Fund for headlines. “The risk of infection is reduced, however, drastically by sufficient Cooking,” stresses Clausen.