Raccoons are cute and furry little animals. They often get fed by people who do not know better. That what they are doing could get them killed in some of the most horrific ways imaginable. Raccoons are not fun to play with. They carry a massive number of deadly pathogens, all of which you can get just from touching the animal, its feces, or getting scratched with its claws. Prey your tetanus shot is up to date. Raccoons have so many pathogens they can spread that the UN and all local governments stress staying far away from them and having their feces removed professionally. Is all this hype true? Are raccoons that dangerous. The answer is yes, but also a bit complicated. A person can pet a raccoon and expect no ill effects unless the raccoon has rolled around it its feces, has fleas or ticks, has rabies, or any number of other illnesses it can pass on to you. Children and pets are in the most danger. A pet may try to attack a raccoon and a child may try to pet it and get bitten. The goal is to keep them away from your property.
Raccoons are the vector species for rabies. What does that mean? It means they are the source you could say, most rabies infections start with a raccoon biting something or someone, and even in a situation where a dog or cat has rabies and passes it on to a human the likely hood is they first got it from a raccoon. This is why they are so dangerous. Rabies-infected raccoons are far more common than any other wildlife and many animals like squirrels are immune to its effects. Humans, dogs, and cats are not immune. The disease can be cured and a vaccine exists but it must be administered repeatedly to keep the effects. If symptoms start to show it can be assumed that inevitable death will follow. The symptoms start with a very high fever that keeps getting worse. The ill person will complain of a headache and nausea. Vomiting will start. They will become highly agitated and confused. They will become hyperactive trying to move around, worsening the illness by raising their heart rate. Water phobia and an inability to swallow follows. Hallucinations, insomnia, and partial paralysis are the final symptoms, the next stage is death. If you have made contact with a rabies raccoon do not ask questions, go to the hospital in an ambulance and tell them over the phone that you may have rabies.
Raccoon roundworm is the other danger of raccoons that is also incurable once symptoms start and causes certain death. This is a parasite that can shed eggs in the millions per day and can travel through your bloodstream and nest in your organs, your eyes, and your brain. This illness will cause Alzheimer-like symptoms but not before it makes you blind. The beginning of the symptoms is simple, nausea and tiredness. This is how most dangerous viruses, bacteria and parasites lull you into a false sense of security. It’s not so bad. Then the liver begins to enlarge, the person loses all coordination and cannot walk a straight line. The person starts ignoring everything around them. Loss of muscle control follows. The final stages are blindness, a coma, and then death.