Wildflowers bloom in the Sierra Nevada
Wildflowers bloom in the Sierra Nevada

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Raccoon Roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) Survey

In June 1999 the Vector-Borne Disease Prevention Program (VBDPP) staff first determined that the raccoon roundworm parasite is present in raccoons living in the Truckee Meadows. Staff continued sampling for raccoon roundworm to determine its distribution and infection rate. Fecal samples from raccoon latrine sites were collected and tested from May 2001 through August 2002. Specimens included 38 fecal samples and 4 raccoon carcasses. The Nevada Department of Agriculture, Animal Disease and Food Safety Laboratory performed parasite identification. Fourteen of the 38 fecal samples tested positive for raccoon roundworm eggs. This is an infection rate of 40.5% of the samples tested. Three out of the four adult raccoons contained roundworms in their intestines. As the map shows, this parasite is well established in the Truckee Meadows area.

An educational brochure was developed and the topic is included in educational presentations made by VBDPP staff.