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What Diseases Do Opossums Carry?

The possum is a nocturnal mammal, found in your attics or garages. Raising a possum as a pet, relocating them or killing them is at the center of a vast debate encompassing various parameters. As they have the potential to reduce insects and rodents from your house, eradicating them permanently is not a good choice. However some lethal issues are also linked with this marsupial which needs serious concern. This mammal is prone to transmit a number of diseases in both animals and humans. The following are the diseases, which adopt possum as a host to transmit.



Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis is a disease manifested by the incubation of spirochete bacteria Leptospira. It can cause infections in most wild and domestic animals as well as in humans. Animals that have undergone a Leptospirosis infection pass the organisms in their urine. Exposure usually occurs by contact with contaminated water, food, bedclothes, soil, plants or direct contact with urine from an infected animal. It reaches the blood stream to target the kidney and liver resulting in kidney and liver failure. Treatment involves rehydration with antibiotics.

Equine Protozoal My eloencephalitis
When horses are in contact with certain protozoal parasites, most commonly, Sarcocyst is neurona they get infected by the organism which attack the central nervous system. Opossums are infected via ingesting Sarcocystis-invaded muscle tissue from an infected victim and, after a transitory period infectious organisms are passed in the feces. Horses come in contact with these feces and get incubated. Ataxia, lameness, muscle atrophy, paralysis of muscles of the eyes, face or mouth, seizures with abnormal sweating is the clinical signs of the disease. Treatment includes antibiotic therapy in a scheduled dosing.

Buruli Bacteria
Scientists have discovered a line of bacteria in possum faces with the peril to root flesh-eating ulcers in humans. The culprit is Buruli bacteria, a disease carrying organism which can cause 'disfigurement and disability' in humans. Major skin ulcers are the ultimate fate of the invasion. Higher level of human exposure cause permanent disability.

Bovine Tuberculosis (TB)
Possums are transporters of bovine tuberculosis (TB) and can spread the disease to deer and cattle. In the later period of the disease they may have large boils and abrasions which are hosting large amounts of TB bacteria, so sick animals are completely avoided. TB invasion usually has a prolonged course, and symptoms include weakness, loss of appetite, fever cough and lymph node enlargement. Treated via antibiotics and support therapy.

Endemic Typhus
Murine is a genre of typhus diffused by fleas (Xenopsyllacheopis), usually on rodents or possums bitten by fleas. Symptoms of endemic typhus include headache, pain, nausea and vomiting. And fever patients develop rashes while neurological symptoms like seizures or loss of balance is widely seen. Endemic typhus is highly treatable with antibiotics. Most people improve serious outcomes are also possible. Tetracycline and chloramphenicol is the drug of choice. The next time you are thinking of keeping a possum in your house, don’t forget about the transmission of pathologies which may harm the human population. Go back to the How to get rid of opossums home page.

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