Opossums as a species are not particularly prone
to carrying bacteria in the same way other pest
animals such as rats, as the biology of the animal
includes a body temperature that is significantly
lower than other species. However, there are
plenty of conditions that can be carried, and are
sometimes transmitted by opossums to people and to
other animals too.
This is one of the biggest concerns that many
people will have about coming into contact with
opossums, as they are animals that are large
enough to survive an attack by another rabid
creature. There are relatively few examples of
opossums transmitting rabies to humans, and as
they are naturally nocturnal people will usually
be cautious about coming into contact with
opossums active during the daytime.
Leptospirosis is a disease that is found in the
feces and urine of many different types of small
animals, and is usually encountered when people
are cleaning up after an opossum infestation.
The spores of the disease are released when the
feces is disturbed, and it can cause liver
problems, meningitis and even death in a small
number of cases.
- Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis
While EPM is not a condition that can affect
people, it is certainly of concern to those who
have horses as it can have some serious effects
on the animals. This is another disease that is
usually transmitted through the feces of the
opossum, although those who have an opossum
infestation in a stable where the horses may be
kept may find that several animals may be
infected by soiled feed and hay.
Tularemia is a condition that can be transmitted
when people come into direct contact with an
opossum or its fleas. A high fever is one of the
main symptoms of the disease being present in
people, although it can also include an ulcer,
while pneumonic tularemia is the most serious
variety and effects can include difficulty
breathing and severe chest pain.
This disease is one of the most common bacterial
infections in the world, and causes symptoms
including diarrhea and vomiting, which can be
more serious in those with compromised immune
systems. The disease is usually transmitted
through contaminated food and water, which means
that when an opossum infestation is found in a
property it is very important to deal with the
situation quickly and effectively, while any
contaminated food should be disposed of.
For more information, you may want to click on one
of these guides that I wrote:
much does opossum removal cost?
- get the
lowdown on prices.
to get rid of opossums
- my main opossum
removal info guide.
opossum trapping photographs
- learn from great examples of
opossum jobs I've done.