North Dakota Banner

ND.gov Banner - visit nd.gov
North Dakota Legendary - visit ndtourism.gov

Raccoon Roundworm

Return to Other Wildlife Diseases

 

Caution

Commonly infected wildlife

Raccoons

Any Mammal

 

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

Raccoon Roundworm

Can I get it?

Yes

  • 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

Wear Gloves

Wash Hands

 

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?

Not safe for pets

No

 

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