This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Baylisascaris roundworms are intestinal parasites found in many different animals. Baylisascaris infection in humans is uncommon but can be severe. While Baylisascaris can infect different types of animals, Baylisascaris procyonis, carried by raccoons, is thought to pose the greatest risk to humans because raccoons often live in close proximity to humans. Humans can acquire the parasite by ingesting the eggs of infected raccoons. Young children are at greatest risk for Baylisascaris infection because they are more likely to put contaminated soil in their mouths. Though rare, human infections can be severe if the parasite invades the eye (ocular larva migrans), organs (visceral larva migrans), or the brain (neural larva migrans). Symptoms of a Baylisascaris infection may include nausea, fatigue, an enlarged liver, loss of coordination, lack of muscle control, blindness, and coma. Baylisascaris infections cannot be spread from one person to another. No drug has been found to be completely effective against Baylisascaris infections in humans though albendazole has been used in some cases.
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