15 large snails able to inflicting uncommon types of meningitis in people seized at Houston airport

1 / 4-pound of beef, recent leaves and 15 reside large land snails — it isn’t a recipe, however the confiscated contents of an airline passenger’s baggage earlier this month. U.S. Customs and Border Safety introduced the invention Tuesday, saying that the snails are able to inflicting uncommon types of meningitis in people.

CBP mentioned in a statement that the snails have been recovered on the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. The passenger who introduced the large land snails, also called banana rasp snails, was touring from Nigeria. She initially solely declared that she had introduced dried beef together with her, however later added the snails to her declaration, CBP mentioned.

Agriculture specialists who have been inspecting the passenger’s baggage in Houston then discovered three zip-locked plastic baggage that had the reside snails inside, together with recent leaves and about 0.25 kilos of beef, CBP mentioned.

“Our agriculture specialists stay vigilant in defending the U.S. from international animal and plant illness that would threaten U.S. crop manufacturing and livestock trade or be transmitted to people,” Houston CBP port director Shawn Polley mentioned in an announcement.

A picture of the assorted reside large land snails that have been seized on the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

U.S. Customs and Border Safety

The USDA has taken management of the snails, and mentioned on its web site that it’s “probably the most damaging snails on the planet.” It may develop to be virtually 8 inches in size and 5 inches in diameter, concerning the measurement of an grownup’s fist, the USDA mentioned. 

Large land snails pose a “doubtlessly severe menace” to people and the surroundings, CBP mentioned. Together with negatively affecting agriculture and ecosystems, the West Africa natives are identified to hold a parasite referred to as the rat lungworm that may trigger uncommon types of meningitis in people.

Greater than 2,800 circumstances of the illness have been reported from 30 nations, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The parasite would not survive for lengthy inside the human physique, the CDC mentioned, and severe issues, similar to neurologic dysfunction or loss of life, not often happen.

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