Is Raccoon Round Worm Dangerous?
Raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) is a parasite that can be dangerous to both humans and other animals. The roundworm larvae are found in the intestines of infected raccoons and are excreted in their feces. If the feces are not properly disposed of, the larvae can contaminate soil and water, where they can infect other animals and humans who come into contact with them.
Infection in humans can occur if contaminated material is accidentally ingested or if the larvae penetrate the skin. The larvae can cause serious health problems, including damage to the brain, spinal cord, and eyes. In severe cases, infection can lead to death.
To reduce the risk of infection, it is important to avoid contact with raccoon feces and to wash your hands thoroughly after handling anything that may have come into contact with raccoons. If you suspect you have been infected with raccoon roundworm, seek medical attention immediately.
How common is Raccoon Round Worm?
Raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) is a relatively common parasite in raccoons and is found throughout much of North America. Studies have estimated that over 60% of raccoons in urban areas and over 90% of raccoons in rural areas are infected with the parasite.
However, human infection with raccoon roundworm is relatively rare. This is likely due to the fact that the larvae are not very infectious to humans and require a large dose to cause infection.
Despite its relative rarity, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with raccoon roundworm and to take steps to reduce the risk of infection, such as avoiding contact with raccoon feces and washing your hands thoroughly after handling anything that may have come into contact with raccoons.
Can it be treated?
Yes, raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) infection can be treated. Treatment typically involves the use of anti-parasitic medications, such as albendazole or mebendazole, to kill the larvae and eliminate the infection.
However, treatment is most effective if started early, before the larvae cause significant damage to the body. Once the larvae have migrated to other parts of the body, such as the brain or eyes, treatment may be less effective and permanent damage may result.
It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have been infected with raccoon roundworm. Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the chances of a successful outcome.