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Diseases carried by opossums

Opossums are carriers of different kinds of ecto-parasites like lice, mites, ticks and even fleas. Fleas are very common on opossums. The eggs and the larva of the fleas are usually shed in the areas that they frequent regularly. In California, Murine Typhus is a disease that has for a long time been transmitted to humans by the opossum fleas. There are other diseases that the opossum can transmit, and they include coccidiosis, toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and tularemia. When the opossum is infected, leptospirosis can be transmitted to humans as well as animals through their feces and urine. Rabies occurs at a rarer rate in the opossum as they have some sort of immunity to the rabies virus. Wildlife, horses and pets are most at risk of getting a disease or infection that is associated with opossums.



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Salmonella
Salmonella has been known to transmit a large number of illnesses that are food borne within the US. This has led to hospitalizations and deaths. Diarrhea and fever as well as abdominal cramps have been known to occur some 12-72 hours after the infection. The illness can go on for about a week and many people may recover without the requirement of treatment.

Coccidiosis
This is a disease that is parasitic in nature and it happens in the intestinal tract of different animals. It is usually caused by the coccidian protozoa. This is a disease that can be spread by the opossum through the feces or the ingestion of the tissue that has been infected. Bloody diarrhea can also occur in the cases that are more severe. Many animals are asymptomatic, but the young of animals that are immune-compromised can actually die.

Toxoplasmosis
This is a leading cause of death and it is attributed to the foodborne illness within the US. This parasite is carried by millions within the USA, but not many have the symptoms due to an immune system that keeps it from causing any kind of illness.

This is a disease that can have very severe consequences, especially in pregnant women or immune-compromised individuals. This is a neglected parasitic infection.

These are some of the diseases that may be a concern when you come into contact with an opossum or its feces. When you see this animal on your property or in your house, it is best to deal with it immediately in order to protect your health.

After you read the above information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does opossum removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of opossums - my main opossum removal info guide.
Example opossum trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Opossum job blog - learn from great examples of opossum jobs I've done.