Rat lungworm disease is an infection by Angiostrongylus cantonensis. This is a type of parasitic roundworm that is often found in the pulmonary arteries of rats, hence where the disease got its name.
Rat lungworm spends part of its lifecycle inside snails, and rats acquire the parasite from eating snails or by coming into contact with snail feces. If people are not careful, then they too can become infected by the parasite.
When humans are infected by the parasite, it will make its home in our central nervous system. Here, it can cause havoc, causing various unwanted symptoms, possibly resulting in death.
Symptom #1: Stiff Neck
Every now and again, we will wake up with a stiff neck. It is usually caused by us having slept at an awkward angle, which can compress or stretch our neck too much. It can linger for a couple of days, but the discomfort will usually pass without any lasting harm being done. Sometimes, though, it can be a sign of something more serious.
A stiff neck is a sign that you might have acquired rat lungworm disease. It is caused by meningismus, which means an irritation of the meninges. It is similar to meningitis, but a different condition. If you have had a stiff neck for a few days and it won’t go away, you should consider getting it checked out.