An infant and a teen in Brooklyn were infected by a deadly and rare disease called raccoon roundworm. The cause of this disease is contact with the feces of raccoon, and it can result in perennial nerve damage and death. There are less than 30 cases of this disease in the entire US, and the symptoms usually show in about two to four weeks after contraction. The symptoms include loss of muscle control and coordination, nausea, and blindness.
The Brooklyn infant who contracted raccoon roundworm started experiencing spinal problems and seizures in October last year. Later on, the baby was hospitalized because of brain damage. In January this year, a teenager in Brooklyn was infected with the disease and became blind in the right eye. It is known that children who have developmental problems are more susceptible to the disease.
Sally Slavinski, a representative from a department of health that is concerned with the transmission of diseases from animals to human beings, advised parents to keep watch on their children when they are in places that have a raccoon population, so as to prevent contact with raccoon feces.
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