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  • Myrtle Beach Educational Article of the Month - What Diseases do Opossums Carry?

What Diseases do Opossums Carry?

What Diseases do Opossums Carry?

Often South Carolina opossums will carry an array of what are called “ectoparasites” but what we commonly known as:


This Myrtle Beach creatures will often bite humans and spread their diseases to us or to other animals like your pets as well. In this article we will be talking about a few of these diseases.

Murine Typhus
Although more commonly known to be caused by South Carolina rats, murine typhus can also be caused by other mammals as well. It occurs all over the world and is transmitted from Myrtle Beach mammal to mammal (not just South Carolina rats) and to humans as well because of fleas.
In order to spot someone or an animal that may have murine typhus, here are some of its symptoms:

-Exhaustion or lethargy
-Sensitivity to light

Tularemia is a rare infectious diseases due to the bacterium called Francisella tularensis.
The bacteria will often attack certain parts of a Myrtle Beach mammal’s body such as:

-Lymph nodes

Tularemia is highly contagious as it can be easily passed on from one mammal to another as well as to humans.
Here are just two of the more common ways it can get passed around:

-Insect bites
-Direct contact

In some extreme cases, tularemia has proven to be fatal. However, antibiotics are available and if administered effectively, the victim can be saved. There are several types of tularemia however the most common one is called uleroglandular tularemia which targets the skin of the victim.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms:

-Exhaustion or lethargy
-Skin ulcers
-Swollen, painful lymph glands

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can hit both humans and animals alike. It is caused when the bacteria, Leptospira, invades the body.
An infected person if not treated quickly may be end having:

-Kidney damage
-Liver failure
-Respiratory distress
-(In extreme cases) Death

In humans, leptospirosis could cause a wide variety of symptoms but in other cases, the person did not show any signs at all!
Therefore, we need to be extra vigilant in looking out for symptoms such as these:

-Abdominal pain
-High fever
-Inflammation of the eyes (or red eyes)
-Muscle aches

Toxoplasmosis is considered to be the leading cause of death in the United States in connection to South Carolina food-borne illnesses. The diseases is due to the parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii and therefore can also be passed on via animal to human like our good friend the Myrtle Beach opossum. In a health person who is suddenly infected by this, symptoms are usually appear flu-like in nature.

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