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Africa MaiMai dangers concern local officials

Date Posted: 2012-05-18

An East African Land Snail is not something you’d expect to run across on Okinawa, but creepy as it sounds, they’re here.

Even worse, the giant snails are not only ugly, but they are often dangerous, particularly to children. The parasite Angiostrongylus Cantonensis is prevalent with the Africa MaiMai, or East African Land Snail, and there’s concern that even incidental contact or touching could be enough to cause a person injury, or even death.

Nobody on Okinawa’s died from contact with an East African Land Snail since 2000, but the creatures are still showing up frequently on the island, particularly during the rainy season. Officials are issuing the annual warning to beware of the Africa MaiMai, and if spotted, to give the crawly creatures a wide berth. Above all, health officials caution, do not let children touch them.

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