Raccoon Ascarids Pose Public Health Threat
That cute, mischievous raccoon turns out to harbor an ascarid that has dangerous public health potential. The ascarid, Baylisascaris procyonis, is common in raccoons in Iowa, especially among younger raccoons, judging from results of a small survey run in 1983. Of 24 scats collected in July (probably representing adults only), three were positive for B. procyonis, while 16 of 22 scats collected in November (mixture of adults and young-ofthe-year) were positive. Figure 1 shows an infective B. procyonis egg.