Tag Archives: raccoons

One Health Headlines: Friday, August 31, 2012

In this week’s One Health roundup: Two more visitors to Yosemite National Park have been diagnosed with rodent-borne hantavirus; the CDC reports new cases of H3N2v influenza, including limited human-to-human spread; how the “Indiana Jones of pathogens” is scouring the globe for clues on the next pandemic; and much, much more.

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One Health Headlines: Friday, May 25, 2012

Rabies featured prominently in the news this week after a woman in England was reported to have contracted rabies while traveling in Southeast Asia, apparently from a dog bite. She’s currently being treated in the U.K. Meanwhile, seven children in Peru have died in the last two months after exposure to rabies through bat bites.

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Backyard bandits and Baylisascaris

While I was growing up, my family had a raccoon that would always make an appearance in our neighborhood the night before garbage pickup. We even gave the raccoon a name — “Rory the Raccoon” — and caught him in the act of going through our trash on a few occasions. He was a nuisance, but that was all. People in areas with raccoon populations may have a bigger concern, though: an intestinal parasite called Baylisascaris procyonis. It’s nothing new, but it’s been reported in several states recently. And with winter — the raccoon’s mating season — quickly approaching, it’s a good idea to be mindful of the disease. B. procyonis is spread through parasite eggs in the infected raccoon’s stool, much like the way that roundworms and other intestinal parasites are spread from infected dogs or cats to other dogs or cats (or to people).  The eggs are resistant to many environmental factors, such as cold and disinfectants and can last for years, making them tough to eliminate.

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World Rabies Day is September 28

It’s not a holiday, but it’s a very important day. Rabies isn’t just a “mad dog” you see in movies like “Cujo” or “Old Yeller” or “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It’s a real disease, and it’s deadly. It’s also preventable.

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