Raccoons; many mammals; many birds.
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.
Yes. Adult worms release eggs that are shed into the feces of raccoons. People become infected by ingesting feces through improper hygiene. Children are especially susceptible.
This disease can be fatal.
When handling live raccoons or their feces, pelts, or carcasses,
The roundworm is called Baylisascaris procyonis. It is found primarily in raccoons, but it can infect more than 170 species of mammals and birds in North America.