Here is some rather worrying news if you live in Houston Texas; giant meningitis carrying snails are heading into town. The giant African snails should not be touched as they "may" carry meningitis. The disease is so feared though who would want to take the risk?
The reality is that the snails carry the bacteria or the virus which can lead to meningitis. That news however will not reassure worried residents.
With snails there is always the problem of what they leave behind. Sticky silver snail trails may be touched, sniffed or licked by pets, other animals or children often without even knowing.
Local experts are advising locals to wash their hands thoroughly after any contact with the snails. Perhaps more frequent and thorough hand-washing would be a good idea, until the snail problem is resolved Then again perhaps that should be par for the course in these treacherous days?
The Mail Onlne reports "the snails ‘can cause a lot of harm to humans and sometimes even death,’ Autumn Smith-Herron, director of the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species at Sam Houston State University told local NBC affiliate KPRC.
The snails often contract the worms by eating rat feces, scientists say".
A woman in the area discovered the first snail invader Tuesday but it got away before scientists arrived in response to her call. The problem of giant African snails in Houston will not simply go away. The snails can grow up to 8 inches in length and up to 4 inches in diameter and lay 100 eggs per month. There is the potential then for an epidemic of the creatures.