Deadly giant African snail found in Houston

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   May 7, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Authorities are asking Houston residents to be wary of giant African land snails, because they could be carrying a deadly strain of meningitis, NBC News reported Tuesday.

A local woman found one of the large mollusks, which can grow up to eight inches long, in her back yard and took a photo of it.

"Unfortunately, humans are picking the snails up," Dr. Autumn J. Smith-Herron, the director of the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species at Sam Houston State University told KPRC in Houston. "They carry a parasitic disease that can cause a lot of harm to humans and sometimes even death."

The snails are originally from East Africa and can lay 1,200 eggs a year, which makes them particularly invasive on American soil.

According to a report from the state of Michigan, a Miami boy brought three snails to the country in 1966. There were more than 18,000 of them in Florida seven years later.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from UPI.com
Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories