ABOUT THE FILM
"Accidental Host - The Story of Rat Lungworm Disease" is a 53-minute documentary about a silently-spreading foodborne parasite that invades human brains and now thrives in tropical areas of five continents, including Hawaii and the southeastern U.S. The film features patient stories and expert interviews shot in Hawaii, Florida and California.
The threat it depicts — an illness which varies from confusing to catastrophic — is largely unknown to most physicians as well as travelers and residents at risk.
“Accidental Host” was produced by Claire Panosian Dunavan, MD, a UCLA professor of infectious diseases and past-president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and a team of veteran, award-winning filmmakers.
For more about the parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis, see the interview below that followed an exclusive livestream of “Accidental Host” in November 2021.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR "ACCIDENTAL HOST"
“A gripping film about a parasite that infects humans by a strange route (rats and snails!), and causes unpredictable, even lifelong symptoms.
Watch this medical thriller and learn how to protect YOURSELF.”
— JARED DIAMOND, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Guns Germs and Steel
“After seeing this film, you will never look at a salad quite the same way again.
And if you're a big fan of green smoothies -- just don't go there.
You will not be able to entirely erase the mental image of a rat lungworm migrating toward your brain."
— DONALD G. MCNEIL JR., 2021 New York Times Pulitzer Prize
“I participated in this film for several reasons. Rat lungworm is a little known infection threatening
residents and tourists alike. Hawaii is particularly affected, but so are other places around the world.
Finally, foodborne diseases are preventable—so we need to spread the word!
‘Accidental Host’ is a timely documentary that will educate consumers, prevent infections, speed diagnosis,
and reduce human suffering.”
— STEPHEN OSTROFF, MD, former Deputy FDA Commissioner for Food and Veterinary Medicine
“Contracting rat lungworm disease changed my life forever.
I spent 8 months in the hospital and had several near-death events.
Now doctors, tourists and the general public can finally learn about this awful, crippling parasite as it continues to spread.”
— BEN MANILLA, President of the Peabody Award-winning Ben Manilla Productions, Inc.
"It’s rare for a science documentary to play like a detective story and at the same time inform and entertain. This one does. It ticks all the boxes."
— RICHARD MALIK, DVSc, PhD, FACVSc, Sydney, Australia, international veterinary expert on rat lungworm
"A marriage of art and science is the essence of a good documentary. This film can play a key role in preventing infection by educating people wherever the parasite lives, including here in Brazil!"
— CARLOS GRAEFF-TEXEIRA, MD, PhD, Professor, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil