3 Dangerous Diseases Spread by Opossums

While opossums are generally nocturnal, it is not uncommon to see them out and near your home during the day throughout the winter season. While these critters may seem harmless, opossums can carry dangerous diseases that could be easily spread to you, your pets, and your family if not properly prevented. Keep reading to discover three diseases spread by opossums and how Critter Guard can help you keep these marsupials at bay.

1. Coccidiosis

This microscopic and parasitic disease attacks the intestinal tract of animals. When pets come into contact with infected feces or ingest contaminated tissue, they are at risk of contracting coccidiosis. Diarrhea is the primary symptom. While many animals with coccidiosis are asymptomatic, the young, elderly, or immunocompromised animals could develop severe symptoms.

Though rare, humans can become infected with coccidiosis by drinking or swimming in contaminated water.

2. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis occurs when infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. Exposure to infected feces or eating undercooked contaminated meat can result in infection in both animals and humans. While toxoplasmosis is most common in cats and other animals such as opossums, it can be transmitted to humans and cause serious issues for some.

Toxoplasmosis may last for weeks with patients showing signs of fever, headache, and muscle pain. The most vulnerable group include pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

3. Relapsing Fever

Relapsing fever is a bacterial infection that can cause headache, nausea, muscle and joint aches, and persistent episodes of fever. While there are three types of this disease, tick-borne relapsing fever is commonly found in opossums and can be transmitted to humans. Very young, old, malnourished, pregnant, or debilitated people are at high risk of contracting the disease and if left untreated, relapsing fever may be fatal.

How Critter Guard Can Help

At Critter Guard, we are aware of the havoc opossums can potentially cause in your home. Our Line Guard and Pole Guard products are designed to help keep these critters away from your residence and hinder the spread of these diseases to you and your family. To learn more about our products and how to keep opossums away from your environment, contact us today!