Baylisascaris

  • What is it? This is a roundworm.
  • How is it transmitted? Microscopic eggs are shed in raccoon feces. They can then become airborne as dust and inhaled or can be accidentally ingested. People coming into contact with areas where raccoons have lived or concentrated such as in barns, chimneys and attics, or people who have pet raccoons, are most susceptible to infection.
  • What does it affect? The eggs hatch after ingestion, and the microscopic larval worms migrate into the nervous system (spinal cord, brain) or into the eye. Symptoms are nervous system disorders.
  • What animals can potentially carry this? Raccoon, hence the name “Raccoon Roundworm”.
*Skunks and animals affected by Bailysascaris may appear to be rabid due to larval migration into the brain.