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  • Jacksonville Educational Article of the Month - Wild Animal Diseases

Wild Animal Diseases

Wild animals can be a real nuisance at your Jacksonville home. They get in your garbage, tear up your lawn, rip up your Florida home, and leave all kinds of droppings that can make a real mess around your house. While these can cause a real problem, there are much more serious issues that are related to wild animals than just messes a little property damage. Wild animals carry an assortment of dangerous and high-infectious diseases that can cause real problems for you, your family, and your pets.

The most common of these is rabies. This is caused by a virus that is spread through bodily fluids, like when an animal bites you. In fact, this is the most common way that the illness is spread in Florida. Wild animals are known to lash out when cornered, and biting is one of the most common means that they use. Raccoons are one of the most common carriers of the disease, but a wide variety of wild animals can carry the disease. Even domesticated animals like dogs still can contract the illness. This is why it is strongly recommended that you use extreme caution with any Jacksonville animal you approach that you do not know. If you find a wild animal on your property, call Jacksonville animal control immediately. They are trained to handle these animals and you do not want to become infected.

Another common virus that is spread through wild animals is Hantavirus. This is a very dangerous virus that causes the kidneys to shut down and the respiratory system to become infected with a variety of maladies. People have been known to have severe diarrhea, nausea, headaches, fever, and many other ailments that can lead to death. This is frequently passed through animal waste like urine, feces and saliva. This is why if you have wild animals that are known to be on your property make sure that you wear gloves, a mask, googles, and some kind of protective clothing before doing the cleaning. All it takes is for you to breathe in the virus or have it enter your blood stream through a cut in your skin and you can become infected.

Trichinosis is commonly associated with pigs, but this can be passed through many different wild animals as well. Trichinosis causes severe chills, skin lesions, chills, muscle soreness, and weakness. It can be fatal if not treated properly. This is usually contracted by eating animals that are infected with the virus. While most do not eat wild Jacksonville animals, there are some that eat such things as squirrels and fox. This means you need to be very careful to fully cook these meats should you partake in dining on them.

Being infected directly by the animal is not the only way to contract an illness. Many animals carry illnesses, but it is through insects that these illnesses are passed. For example, tularemia is found in many rabbits, hares, birds and other rodents. When a tick draws blood from these animals then bites a human it passes the illness from the Florida animal to the person. This illness can cause severe sores, muscle pain, chills, and high fever.

There are also several diseases that are passed from the feces of animals. Raccoons are one of the biggest carriers of these kinds of illnesses, but they are not the only ones. Mice, rats, rabbits, possums, squirrels, and foxes, among others, all defecate parasites that if humans come in contact with them can cause severe illnesses. Salmonella and Campylobacter are two of the most common ones that are found.

Salmonella is very dangerous to people of all ages. This can cause severe respiratory and digestive problems, and is easily spread by simple contact with animal waste. This is why it is important that you and your pets are kept from wild animal waste to keep you and your home safe.

Campylobacter is incredibly dangerous to younger animals, including humans. This illness is fatal in many cases, and because youths are so susceptible it is a real danger. Most younger animals don’t have the immune systems to fight off the disease.

This is why it is so important to make sure that when you are around animal waste in Florida that you wear protective gear, especially gloves and a mask. Many of these illnesses can be contracted by breathing them in, and so wearing a mask that protects your nose and mouth is vital. Dish washing gloves are much better to use than simple medical gloves. They are much more durable and much less likely to be cut or broken. Safety is important.

If you are coming in contact with waste it is also a good idea to wear old clothes that you can throw away afterward. It is too your advantage to simply throw these away instead of trying to clean them.

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