Raccoon Roundworm Is Your New Swine Flu

raccoon The menace known as Raccoon Roundworm, a “rare, deadly disease,” has brain damaged an infant and blinded  a teenager in Brooklyn. Those are the only victims — so far! — of an illness contracted by consuming dirty raccoon poop.  Still!  There’s never a time to not panic lately, is there? If only to drum up some scary headlines.

So, in the interest of  your health, remember:  Don’t touch or eat raccoon poop.  Duh.  I’ll be soaking in my Purell bath if you need me.  [via Gothamist]

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19 Responses to Raccoon Roundworm Is Your New Swine Flu

  1. melissa says:

    i wonder if you can get this from eating the meat…i swear for god i overheard two old men outside my apartment saying how “coon is good eatin.” now insert off color joke hear but i swear for god…i can not make this kind of shit up. the economic times are dire…for the love of god they’re eating horses in Iceland!

    • ephemerist says:

      @Melissa: I have heard urban rumors/trend stories about eating raccoon. It’s the new squirrel, or something. Either way. Nagonnadoit.

    • matzo says:

      No Melissa you can’t. Baylisascaris roundworm stays strictly in the intestinal tract of raccoons. When the eggs are ingested by other species and hatch, they don’t know where to reside and get into the nervous system. It takes literally millions of eggs ingested for an adult to become infected. And even at that, if you suspect you have ingested the eggs {or inhaled millions cleaning an old raccoon latrine or something} they can be treated with pinworm medication for humans. So if you believe to have ingested them and dose with the pyrantel pamoate for 3 days to kill any hatched adults they won’t survive in that body.

      This hype about it is mostly hype. Yes. It CAN kill other species but so CAN bears or coyotes. If you check the CDC you will find a TOTAL of 30 cases ever and most are infants that put things in their mouth. You have to literally eat a piece of raccoon poop to get enough eggs to infect an adult human. Unless you go around eating animal poop AND there is confirmed Baylisascaris roundworm infections in your area wildlife, there is little to worry about. Most areas don’t even have Baylisascaris roundworm.

      However, if a raccoon IS infected with the Baylisascaris roundworm, and someone does want to eat it {how disturbing} … there can be eggs on the fur that pose a slight risk …. personally I believe they shouldn’t be eating raccoons anyway. They are NOT “dumb animals” …. they are quite intelligent, live family community lives, love their offspring and care for them far better than most hoomans care for their own children. They protect each other and have excellent memories, hold grudeges and have detailed extensive communication skills. They have the perseverance and determination most people can only wish for.

      To me eating raccoons is the same as frying up that cute little kitten you just brought home.

      Raccoon Rescue

  2. ecologicjess says:

    Whoa. I’ve been trying to keep raccoons off my roof to keep them from damaging it (see http://www.homemakers.com/ecologic for the story). Now I have a new reason to keep them out of the area altogether!

    • matzo says:

      Please don’t buy into this ‘story’. It is wrong. Contact me about your roof issue. I can help you deal with it. You only have to know raccoons & their protocols to outsmart them. You obviously have a food source attracting them … probably a neighbor feeding feral cats at night.

      No need to be afraid of the information posed by this “article” which is grossly misinforming. This is the type of info that causes lynch mobs to unnecessarily persecute a species. Your roof problem can be dealt with easily.

      Raccoon Rescue

  3. rebeecca says:

    Thats bad!!!!! last time ,yesterday i think they scared or chased my kittie he was high up in a palm tree. they were close 2 him.

  4. suckit says:

    fake as hell, stupid fake just like the lockness monstar

  5. suckit says:

    i could care less i was looking up raccoons for school

  6. oct154 says:

    Wow… my neighbor a few days ago saw a raccoon at day time!!!!! NO JOKE!!! they have a pool and it was sitting near it just staring at them. when there grandma came, the raccoon stood up. SCARY!!!! there neighbor came over and set a trap. OMG HE SAW THE RACCOON AT NIGHT AND MY GOD!!! HE WENT UNDER WITH IT TO GRAB IT!!! HOLY CRAP!! my neighbor said it was biting his hands and he had work gloves on to. they went to animal control and they said it was a juvenile and had rabies O:. They saw another one out door just yesterday so they think there a adult in their yard. IM SO SCARED TO EVEN LET MY DOG OUT AT NIGHT!!!! ITS SO SCARY KNOWING THERE ARE RACCOONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AH THIS IS NOT A JOKE IM SERIOUS!!

  7. With the web at humans fingertips there is NO excuse for such ignorance and lack of perspective. Spend 10 minutes and stop being puppets that depend on media for your IQ, please!

    Raccoons under 1 year of age are not nocturnal yet. Especially if they lost their mother to some freaked out media puppet. Mother raccoons with neonates in a nest will also come out during the day to find food (safer for babies). Raccoons in “safe” areas will come out during the day… for the species “nocturnal” simply means “safer from stupid humans that listen to media”.

    Balyscaris roundworm is very rare and like rabies EXTREMELY hard to get. If you look at the stats of humans affected you would know this. You would also know that red ant bites kill 50 people a year, and common puppy roundworm blinds over 500 children a year. (cdc.gov) Perspective, huh?

    Our state wildlife agencies sanction a lot of “sports” that are extremely abusive and cruel. They must appease and ‘grow’ hunting to get federal funding. The day humans get wise and exhibit compassion for some of the amazing urban wildlife species they malign as “nuisance, disease ridden pests” is the day our society (and all humanity) will actually evolve a few steps. And maybe state agencies will start doing their jobs instead of running a business of exploiting animals. Stop and think… our ancestors lived among these animals far more than we do now, and they survived just fine.

    To eat a raccoon is akin to eating Flipper the Dolphin, as far as proven intelligence goes. (Purdue Univ) But they don’t talk about wildlife inteligence or sentience much – just isn’t scary enough for the puppets, I guess?

  8. matzo says:

    Do you regularly eat your dog and cat poop also?

    This is just so uninformed. Raccoon ringworm? No such thing. Raccoon roundworm — treated the same as dog roundworm end of story.

    This old picture of a coonie hugging a dog suggesting interspecies copulation is sick. And it’s over used and stupid.

    Please get your fact straight and get a decent photo if you want any credibility.

    There have been less than 30 cases of this type of infection in people EVER. More people are killed by lightening each year. Perhaps you should work on that killer instead.

    Raccoon Rescue

  9. matzo says:

    To those commenting freaking out about raccoons during the day? It is VERY COMMON for raccoons to be out during the daylight. They do not become nocturnal until they are a year old and they are NOT completely nocturnal. They are diurnal …. they sleep when they feel like it. You just don’t see many because they are smarter than you and hide.

    We really need to dispell some of the old wive’s tales instilled in the older generation. Animals DO NOT care about human scent. Birds DO NOT kill their babies if humans touch them … birds can’t even smell. Raccoons DO NOT hunt down your house cat or puppies. They are too lazy to bother. If you cat or puppy challenge a coonie? Sure, they’ll have a battle …. but the coons could care less what creatures are around most of the time. They have learned to cohabit with each other.

    Now hoomans — it’s your turn to learn how to do this.

    Before you freak out about what you’ve been told? Ask the experts.

    Raccoon Rescue

    • Dave S, says:

      Apperantly you don’t have domestic chickens. Coons don’t try to “get along”, they try to destroy and eat your pets and livestock. The only good racoon is a dead racoon, and then preasure cooked and bbq’d until well done. City coons go in the dumpster. I would kill 1000 coons to protect 1 of my chickens.

  10. matzo says:

    Please don’t buy into this ‘story’. It is wrong. Contact me about your roof issue. I can help you deal with it. You only have to know raccoons & their protocols to outsmart them. You obviously have a food source attracting them … probably a neighbor feeding feral cats at night.

    No need to be afraid of the information posed by this “article” which is grossly misinforming. This is the type of info that causes lynch mobs to unnecessarily persecute a species. Your roof problem can be dealt with easily.

    Raccoon Rescue

  11. Jenifer Harris says:

    I totally agree with all the comments left here by Matzo and Katherine. PLEASE don’t buy into the media “scare tactics” about raccoons!! And unless you plan on eating a coon poop sandwich, like Matzo says, you are safe from the roundworm they can carry! And also, yes, juvenile coons, under a year old are active during the day….NOT because they have rabies or any disease, just because they have not completely learned and adapted to the coon ways! They are still babies! There is NOTHING to be afraid of….a raccoon is more afraid of you than you are of it, and certainly a dog is in no danger, unless it corners or traps the raccoon, or tries to hurt it. PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELVES before posting wild, off the wall, UNTRUE stories and articles on the internet!! You are only adding to the hysteria that already exists about raccoons because SO MANY people are uneducated about them!!

    • matzo says:

      A domestic pet [or person] can be in danger if it tries to mess with baby raccoons. Mama coonie will not tolerate strangers. As it should be.

      Raccoon Rescue

  12. Bill Ellick says:

    The responses by Matzo and Kathrine are spot on about the falseness of this story as well as the need for education of the public about the true nature of raccoons.
    I have a “first time” mother raccoon with 3 little ones that comes to visit since I put out food for the general raccoon population and have also rescued, raised, and released several raccoons around me.
    The incredible intelligence, love, devotion, and caring that is not only well documented but I have witnessed first hand over 12 years of working with them is almost unbelieveable until you witness it yourself.
    This little momma is a wild one that I only got to know a little while she was pregnant and came around to eat at night. After she had her babies, she brought them here for food during the day as soon as they were old enough to leave the nest.
    She tolerates me without any fear, malice, or intention of harm to me and allows me to feed her and the little ones and even scritch the little ones on the chin a little and play with them on my deck while she sits and eats and watches us. As long as I am honest and not a threat she will treat me with the same respect that I show her.
    They are truely amazing animals to get to know and understand.
    I have even had a couple over the years that would put themselves between me and danger to protect me since they had bonded to me and considered me a part of their family! Now that is love at its most basic and honest form.
    I’ll take a day with these beautiful and fantastic friends anytime.
    After you learn about them you will wonder how anyone can be so cruel to these and other species.

    • susan says:

      That’s very sweet. I feed them too. There are 2 good reasons to do this (besides that they’re so cute). First of all, they don’t poop where they eat. Secondly, they keep the mice away!

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