Commonly infected wildlife
Is this animal infected?
- This roundworm infects a high percentage of raccoons throughout North America
- Infected raccoons often appear normal with no outward sign of infection
- The adult stage lives in the raccoon’s intestine. Eggs are shed though feces
- Few other parasites are as indiscriminate in causing neurologic disease in wild, zoo, and domestic animals as well as human beings
Can I get it?
- The worm releases eggs that are shed into the feces, and eggs stick to the fur.
- Shed eggs can infect people
How bad can it get?
Raccoon roundworm is serious. This disease can be fatal
Protect myself and others
- When handling live raccoons, their feces, pelts or carcasses:
- Wear disposable gloves
- Practice good hygiene
- WASH YOUR HANDS!
- Disinfect your work space
Symptoms in humans
- Severity of symptoms depends on number of eggs ingested, number of larvae entering the brain, and location and extent of larvae migration damage. This disease is rare in humans, but very serious if contracted
- Symptoms include nausea, fatigue, loss of motor skills, damage to eyes and blindness. This disease can be FATAL
Safe for pets?
What causes it?
- The roundworm is called Baylisascaris procyonis, found primarily in raccoons, but can infect more than 90 species of mammals and birds in North America