Raccoons and Disease

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Raccoons and Disease, By: Kaitlyn C.

Rabid Raccoon. Rabies, Roundworm, Leptospirosis. Raccoon RemovalRaccoons and disease are almost synonymous. While walking through parks or gardens, it’s common to come across raccoons. Yes, they’re cute and cuddly to look at. However, they are a health risk. They carry diseases that humans and other animals can catch. Raccoons are carriers of raccoon roundworm, leptospirosis, and rabies.

Raccoons and Disease – Baylisascaris or Raccoon Roundworm

Roundworm, an intestinal infection that can make humans very sick. The disease spreads through contact with raccoon feces. Raccoons defecate in latrines, or large communal areas. Infected animals carry raccoon roundworm eggs in their feces. After defecating, the eggs can live in soil for a few years. However, the infectious form of the disease stays active for 2 to 4 weeks. It is during this time that humans can ingest the eggs. When that happens, larvae hatch out internally. Thus, entering organs and causing severe illness. This must be taken seriously. Sadly, it can lead to death.

The number of eggs ingested determines the degree of symptoms. Also, location of larvae factors into how sick you may become. Common symptoms include tiredness, loss of balance and site, and headaches. Coma ranks as the most severe result of the ingestion of larvae. As a result, it takes seven days from swallowing the eggs for symptoms to develop. Consult a doctor if you fear that you have ingested these eggs. Hence, delaying treatment propels the disease into a life-threatening event.

Raccoons and Disease – Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection carried by raccoons. Also, it’s carried in the urine of rats, and other animals. Hence, it affects humans and animals via skin contact. Drinking contaminated water also infects humans. Sadly, dogs are at higher risk due to drinking from various water sources. That water may have been urinated in by an infected animal. As a result, dogs that develop the disease become seriously ill, and many die.

Due to lack of symptoms, many people are unaware they’ve contracted the disease. As a result, this leads to serious illness in others. Similar to influenza, symptoms vary from severe head and muscle pain to high temperature. In rare cases, liver and kidney disease occur.

Raccoons and Disease – Rabies

Raccoons tend to be the largest carrier of rabies in Florida. Raccoon and disease numbers in the state have remained constant. Thus, the threat of rabies is ever present.

The disease attacks the central nervous system. As a result, causing brain disease and sometimes death. Hence, a person bitten or scratched by a raccoon should seek immediate medical attention. Rabies cases in humans or pets must be reported to Public Health. The good news, contracting rabies may be avoided. Thus, vaccines must be given as soon as possible after exposure.

How To Reduce The Risk Of Disease

  • Vaccinate all pets.
  • Keep pets and their food indoors at night.
  • Check for openings in doors or windows. If found, seal them up.
  • Keep garbage cans inside. If outside, be certain to keep them locked.
  • Clean barbecue grills after use.
  • Use secure bins for garden compost.
  • Stay away from raccoon feces. If found, take careful measures to clean and sanitize the area.
  • Do not use water, soil, fruits, or vegetables you suspect have0 been urinated on by a raccoon or other wild animal.

If you have problems with wild animals. And fear raccoons and disease they carry. Contact a professional agency like Trusted Trappers, Inc.

Professionals like Trusted Trappers, Inc. have teams of qualified staff. Hire them to limit your exposure to raccoons and disease. They’re ready to manage any of your nuisance wildlife problems. Trusted Trappers, Inc. is South Florida’s leading raccoon removal specialists.

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