Brooklyn Infant, Teen Contract Raccoon Disease

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racoon.jpgThe NYC Department of Health is warning parents to be on alert for raccoon roundworm, after a Brooklyn infant and a teenager contracted the disease. The baby has permanent brain damage and the teen has lost sight in one eye.

The infection is caused by coming in contact with feces from an infected raccoon. The intestinal roundworm develops in a raccoon intestine, and lays millions of eggs that are then passed through the raccoon. The eggs can survive for years. Young children are potentially at a higher risk, because they spend time outdoors and may put dirty fingers in their mouths.

Symptoms of raccoon roundworm can include nausea, fatigue, lack of coordination, loss of muscle control and blindness.

Suspected cases should be reported to the New York City Department of Health at 212-788-9830. After hours, contact the Poison Control Center at 212-764-7667.

(Source: NY1)

5 COMMENTS

  1. The raccoons live on the old, abandoned LIRR train tracks. Once a raccoon started to climb through the window right behind my daughter!

  2. If they are just passing by your home, there’s nothing to do, BUT if you see they are regularly hanging out by your home or by your garbage, call an exterminator or trapper to catch and get rid of them. They can and will try to get INTO your home. They can climb up on roofs and get in to attics through openings not much bigger than a squirrel needs to get in! They can be very dangerous! Possums have a really nasty disposition, and though raccoons may look “cute” (to some) they often carry rabies!

  3. They are generally on the hunt for food (also for shelter in the cold of winter) so… when you put your garbage outside spray it with something with a bad smell (like fantastic w/bleach, OR ammonia, OR any bug spray). This will make it unattractive to them, and less likely that they’ll want to poke around in it. By the way, NEVER combine ammonia with bleach (for ANY reason)-the combination releases chlorine gas which can KILL you!