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Maine Wildlife Officials Warn of Moose Parasite
02/20/2013 03:19 PM ET  

State biologists say a parasite that can infect domestic dogs - and humans - has been found in moose.

State wildlife officials are warning the public about a tapeworm that's turned up in Maine moose. The tapeworm - known as Echinococcus granulosus, or EG - shares part of its life cycle with so-called canids, such as foxes or coyotes.  State officials say EG can also infect humans and domestic dogs.

Maine wildlife biologist Lee Kantar says the parasite may have been around for years and went unnoticed. He says this particular type of tapeworm is not known to be much of a problem for people.

"While people can pick it up, it seems to be a very, very low problem as far as a human health threat, but it is a threat nonetheless," he says.

Kantar says people can become infected with EG if they come into contact with the parasite's eggs in animal feces. He advises people to avoid touching dead animals, and says hunters and trappers should use latex or rubber gloves when dealing with canid carcasses, and avoid contact with feces.

In addition, Kantar says moose scraps and organ meat should not be fed to domestic dogs.



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