Parasitic Zoonotic Diseases and How They Affect Humans
- ‘Visceral larval migrans’ is where the infective larvae enters the human body and migrates through and encysts in body tissues, often the lung or liver.
- Clinical signs include fever, coughing, abdominal discomfort or rashes.
- The eye is common site for parasite migration resulting in partial loss or complete blindness, ‘ocular larval migrans’.
- May migrate to brain and cause neurological signs and even death.
- Inflammatory and allergic response occur in the skin where the larvae burrow called ‘cutaneous larval migrans’. Can cause gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea or cramping if enters gut.
- Animal tapeworms can form cysts in the human body, usually the liver, and may become extremely large.
- Strategic deworming – routinely deworming animals at set intervals designed to interrupt the parasite life cycle before eggs or larvae are passed into the environment further contaminating it.
- Can also microscopically examine fecal samples to identify parasite eggs and larvae and treat as needed. Recommended once yearly at least.
- Good hygiene
There are several medications that can eliminate or prevent parasites infections in your pet and reduce chances of zoonotic infection in your family.
- Pyrantel – pill for intestinal round worms
- Praziquantel – pill for tape worms.
- Ivermectin – chewable meat flavored pill for intestinal worms which also protects your pet against heartworm
- Milbemycin Oxime - chewable pill for heartworm and intestinal parasites
People become infected by ingesting parasitic eggs via….
- People most at risk are Young children.
- Putting contaminated objects or hands in their mouths.
- Eating contaminated fruits or vegetables without washing them thoroughly.
- Playing in sandboxes or areas contaminated with animal feces.
- Handling animals without washing hands afterwards.
- Being in close contact with infected animals.
- Accidentally ingesting a flea.
- Not practicing good hygiene and sanitation.
- Having skin contact with contaminated soil.
- People with kittens &\or puppies in the household.
- People who are careless about sanitation.
- People who work in close contact with animals.
- Pet owners who do not routinely deworm their pets.
- People who work/live in contaminated environments.
- People with compromised immune systems.