BAYLISASCARIS INFECTION

Baylisascaris infection is induced by a roundworm discovered in raccoons. Baylisascaris worms are parasites in the intestines that can be found in many animals. Different Baylisascaris species are linked to various animal hosts.

This roundworm can invade humans as well as other animals, such as dogs. Infection occurs when people consume infectious eggs. The majority of infections occur in children and individuals who are more likely to put mud or animal waste in their mouths accidentally. Human infections are rare, but if the parasites penetrate the organs, eyes or brain, they can be fatal.

SYMPTOMS

The incubation period (the time between exposure and onset of symptoms) is generally one to four weeks. Signs and symptoms that may be present include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Weariness 
  • Loss of coordination
  • Coma 
  • Liver enlargement
  • Blindness

DIAGNOSIS

You must discuss your worries with your doctor, who will assess you and question you (for instance, about your history with raccoons or other animals). In humans, Baylisascaris infection is hard to detect. Because there are no readily accessible tests, the diagnosis is frequently made by ruling out other illnesses.

TREATMENT

You can discuss treatment possibilities with your doctor. In humans, no drug has been discovered to be fully effective against Baylisascaris infection. Albendazole has been suggested in some cases.

Prevention

Raccoon feces eggs are not directly infectious. It takes two to four weeks for eggs to become contagious in the surroundings. If raccoons have established a den or a latrine in your lawn, raccoon feces and infected content must be carefully excluded and burned, disposed of or buried in a landfill.

It is critical to avoid infecting hands and clothing. Boiling water or a propylene flame gun can be used to clean patios, decks and other surfaces. Immediate removal and disposal of raccoon feces before the eggs become contagious reduces the chance of being exposed and infected.

  • Washing your hands after playing or working outside is a good way to prevent infection.
  • Wild animals should not be kept, fed, or adopted as pets.

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