Cases of brain-infecting worm are spiking in Hawaii
A parasitic worm that infects people's brains is turning up more frequently on Maui, and Hawaiian officials are getting worried. "It’s like having a slow-moving bullet go through your brain," says state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park explaining the effects of rat lungworm disease. The worm lives in the lungs of rats, but its larvae are expelled in the rats' feces and infect slugs and snails, which in turn pass the larvae on to humans. The larvae can survive for months in humans, growing into worms an inch long. The parasite can cause a rare form of meningitis, which comes along with serious headaches, vomiting, temporary facial paralysis, and more.There's no treatment for the disease, and it can cause permanent brain damage, ,though it is rarely fatal.
Six cases of the disease have been reported on Maui in the past three months.
Officials encourage people to wash their fruits and veggies well before eating and to avoid eating raw or undercooked snails or slugs. The parasite has historically been found in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, but it's recently been expanding to the US, Africa, and beyond.
Yo, Adrian! Pet shop from 'Rocky' films demolishedA Philadelphia storefront featured prominently in the "Rocky" films has been demolished.The building was home to the fictional pet store where Rocky courted his eventual wife, Adrian. It was featured in several of the films and was a frequent stop on tours designed for Rocky fans.Tour Guide Ben Caplan says he was taking a group there Thursday when he found construction crews tearing the building down.The building, once a real pet shop, had been empty for several years. You can still see the pet shop replica facade in the New York section of Universal Studios in Orlando.-------------------------
It is only April... but we will be seeing these stories more and more as warm weather approaches...
Dog ‘moments from death’ rescued from sweltering car...Clive Oxley, from Cornwall’s St Ives, was getting lunch when he spied the animal in distress.The dog had been locked in the hot car for more than an hour and a half, according to the parking ticket.But when the police were of no help to him, Clive took matters into his own hands.Filming the incident the have-a-go-hero freed the dog.Clive said: ‘I rang the police and they said not to do anything unless it was distressed. The dog was lying on its back with its tongue hanging out. It couldn’t breathe. There was no way I was leaving it.So we smashed the window in. ‘Many people still believe that it’s okay to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.‘A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. --------------------------
New online business helps people adopt the best dog for their lifestylePeople looking for the perfect family pet tend to choose a dog based on appearance or breed — but that’s barking up the wrong tree.“If you think they’re cute, you bring them home,” said Jodi Andersen, a dog trainer and author.That’s why Andersen, along with MaryAnn Zeman and Sharon Mosse, founded the new online business How I Met My Dog. It works like Match or eHarmony, fitting humans with dogs based on what really matters: personality, lifestyle and behavior.Several other online services match people with pets, but the founders of How I Met My Dog say they take things to a new level with a more detailed, science-based questionnaire that narrows the number of dogs that meet a human adopter’s lifestyle and expectations.The service is needed because about 4 million dogs per year are handed over to shelters and rescues, they said. Too many end up back in shelters, and too many are being euthanized because they can’t find good homes.-------------------
Here’s Why Your Cat Is So Obsessed with Your Keyboard
No, your feline friend isn't trying to sabotage your important work email.
Cats can be mysterious creatures. You call their name to jump on your lap and they respond by walking in the other direction. They meow for food only to wander off as soon as you put it in their bowl. They curl up next to you for a good pet, purring with every stroke, when suddenly they decide it’s too much and run away. This may not describe all cats, but we can probably agree that feline behavior isn’t always easy to understand. Especially when it comes to computers.If you work on a laptop, you likely know that the joy of your cat’s company can easily turn into annoyance as he or she takes over your keyboard, sending emails accidentally, getting in the way of your video call, and even throwing off the balance of your device as it tumbles to the floor—cat and all.So, what’s the deal? Why is your cat so obsessed with a non-fuzzy, hard-surfaced piece of equipment that doesn’t dispense free food, offer love in return, or is even all that cozy to lay on?“Many cats sit on spots such as keyboards and laptops because they are near their favorite person and can be at the center of their attention,” explains Marilyn Krieger, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant “Usually people reinforce the behavior by petting the cat and/or talking with him. Cats quickly learn that when they sit on the keyboard they get what they want—attention.”If it’s becoming a real problem for you, and you find yourself locking your feline out of the room when you need to work—but dearly wish you could enjoy their affection, there are steps you can take.“You can break the habit by providing the cat a comfortable and a desirable place to settle that is next to you while simultaneously reinforcing and rewarding him with affection and attention when the cat is sitting or lying on it,” Krieger says. “At the same time, discourage him from hanging out on the keyboard by making it an uncomfortable place to sit and difficult to access.” ---------------