Toddler may have rare disease linked to raccoon droppings

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Health officials say a King County toddler may have contracted a rare disease linked to microscopic roundworm eggs found in raccoon droppings.

Public Health Seattle & King County said Monday said the toddler was hospitalized but is now at home recovering.

People can become infected if they inadvertently swallow dirt or other materials contaminated with raccoon droppings that contain the roundworm eggs.

Since 1973, only 29 cases of the Baylisascaris infection have been reported in the U.S. No cases have been reported in Washington state.

The infection can be severe and even fatal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is testing the child’s blood and spinal fluid samples. Results are expected in two weeks.