Raccoons carry the intestinal parasite Baylisascaris which is raccoon roundworm. Infected raccoons shed millions of eggs in their feces, which in turn infect the environment.
The most common method people become infected with raccoon roundworm is through contaminated soil. Raccoon feces deposited on your roof will wash down to the soil when it rains. When people garden they may become infected. It is very important to wash your hands thoroughly after gardening. Children must also be encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly after playing in their sandboxes. Remember to clean under your fingernails as well.
As humans are an intermediate host, the raccoon roundworm does not mature. The larvae migrate through human tissue – liver, central nervous system, brain, and eyes. Infection in humans with raccoon roundworm is very difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of infection: irritability, nausea, loss of coordination, liver enlargement, loss of eyesight, coma.
Therefore, it is very important to prevent infection.