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I would like to know more about Bailisascaris infection. Can this parasite infect humans and how? Can it be fatal to humans? I am affraid that my son is infected because I saw him the other day close to a racoon. Please help!

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The first thing you need to do is to take your son to a doctor. Baylisascaris procyonis is a common parasite of raccoons. The adult roundworms live in the raccoon's small intestine and eggs are passed in the feces. It takes approximately one month for the eggs to become infective once passed. The next host is infected when it ingests infective eggs. This parasite causes little if any damage in the raccoon. Humans often keep racoons as pets and this increases the probability that they will defecate in an areas to which humans have access. The eggs of B. procyonis can remain infective for many months, even years. People become infected when they accidentally ingest infective eggs in soil, water, or on objects that have been contaminated with raccoon feces. When ingest, these eggs hatch into larvae in the person's intestine and travel throughout the body. This way they affect the organs and muscles. This infection can be dangerous because several fatalities in humans have resulted from infections with B. procyonis larvae. Keeping raccoons as pets or enticing them into yards is not such a good idea.
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