Do Possums Carry Diseases?
Possums also known as opossums are often considered dirty disease-ridden creatures. While it is true that possums can carry diseases not all of them are harmful to humans. In this article we will explore the diseases that possums can carry the risks they pose to people.
What Diseases Can Possums Carry?
Possums can carry a range of diseases including:
1. Tuberculosis (TB)
Possums are a known carrier of TB a bacterial disease that affects the lungs. While the risk of contracting TB from possums is low people who handle or come into close contact with infected possums may be at risk.
Possums can carry salmonella bacteria which can cause symptoms such as fever diarrhea vomiting in humans. Salmonella can be transmitted through contact with the possum’s feces or by eating contaminated food.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted by possums through contact with their urine. Symptoms of the disease can include fever chills muscle aches vomiting.
4. Rat-bite Fever
Possums can carry the bacteria that causes rat-bite fever a rare but serious disease that can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
To protect yourself from the diseases that possums can carry it is important to take precautions when handling or coming into contact with possums.
1. Avoid Touching or Handling Possums
Possums are wild animals should not be handled or touched by humans. If you do come into contact with a possum be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap water.
2. Keep Possums out of Your Home
Possums can carry diseases into your home if they gain entry. Seal up any potential entry points such as holes in walls or gaps under doors to keep possums out.
3. Clean up After Possums
If you discover possum droppings or urine in or around your home be sure to clean up the area using gloves a disinfectant cleaner.
Possums can carry a range of diseases but the risk of contracting these diseases from possums is relatively low. To protect yourself your family it is important to take precautions when handling or coming into contact with possums to keep them out of your home. If you are concerned about a possum on your property contact a wildlife control professional for assistance.
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