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Giant snails invade Houston; officials warn against handling

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Updated: 5/07/2013 10:14 am
By Jennifer Bauer
NBC News

HOUSTON -- A giant African land snail was discovered in the backyard of a Houston home, and now researchers are sending out a warning.
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"Unfortunately, humans are picking the snails up," said Dr. Autumn J. Smith-Herron, the director of the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species at Sam Houston State University. "They carry a parasitic disease that can cause a lot of harm to humans and sometimes even death."

The parasite is called rat lungworm which is a form of meningitis. Humans should not come in contact with the snail and need to wash their hands thoroughly if they do.
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