Any disease that can be transferred from animal to human is a zoonotic disease, or zoonosis. The most common animals that are known to carry and spread zoonosis include skunks, bats, opossum, fox, coyote, and the most popular, raccoons. Raccoons are common carriers of the Rabies Virus, Leptospirosis, roundworm, and more. They can transmit these diseases to both humans and other animals, including pets. Continue reading to learn more about these three common zoonotic raccoon diseases, and what to do if you have a raccoon problem on your property.
How to Protect Yourself
Vaccinations are a great method of protection against accidental contamination of zoonoses, especially if you live near a wooded area or an area that is highly populated with wildlife, frequently participate in outdoor activities, or work with animals. Also, be sure to ever attempt touching catching, trapping, harming, or provoking wildlife. You can not predict what a wild animal will do, and what they are infected with.
Rabies – The Rabies virus is a well-known infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. Raccoons are common carrier of rabies, which is a virus that affects the central nervous system. There is no cure or treatment for this viral disease if an animal is infected. As for humans, treatments are available, and effective so long as medical attention is received early on. Very few humans have died from rabies. It is transmitted through an infected raccoon's saliva entering the bloodstream. Usually a raccoon bites a mammal, and the saliva enter their bloodstream, thus leading to infection.
Leptospirosis – Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is commonly transmitted through infected artery. Raccoons are common carriers, as well as dogs, pigs, cattle, and rodents. It is common for humans to not show any symptoms at all, but still pass it on to others, while others will become seriously ill. Infection occurs when a mammal comes into contact with soil, water, or food that has been contaminated with infected urine.
Roundworm – Scientifically referred to as Baylisascaris Procyonis , Raccoon roundworm is a common parasitic disease that can be passed from raccoon to human or pet. It travels through the intestinal tract, and can settle someone underneath the surface of the skin. There are treatments and vaccinations used for raccoon roundworm infections.
If you have been experiencing raccoon problems on your property, contact a licensed wildlife control company for safe and humane raccoon removal services. Be sure to choose a company who is licensed and experienced, and who always uses safe, non-lethal methods of raccoon extraction and exclusion. Remember, raccoons should never be harmed or killed, without legally hunted during permitted hunting seasons, on permitted hunting grounds, and with the proper hunting documents.