Raccoon Ringworm Hits Two In New York

A rare disease transmitted by raccoons has left an infant with brain damage and a teen blind in one eye in New York. The city is on the alert for Raccoon Ringworm, a very rare disease that can affect humans who come in contact with raccoon feces.
The disease can cause permanent nerve damage and in the most serious cases death.

The New York Daily News reports:

Parents should closely supervise small children in areas where raccoons live to prevent possible ingestion of raccoon feces,” said Sally Slavinski, of a Health Department unit that deals with diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans.

The infant that was infected last October. It is believed that he got the disease in upstate New York. He has been in hospital since that time. His symptoms started with seizures and spinal problems which caused brain damage.

The Brooklyn teen lost sight in his right eye this January.

There have been fewer than 30 cases of Raccoon Ringworm reported nationwide. Once a person is infected it takes two to four weeks for the symptoms to appear. Symptoms include nausea, loss of coordination and muscle control, and blindness, to develop. The disease is prone to children and especially developmentally disabled children.

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