What Diseases Can You Get From Eating a Squirrel?
Did you know that you can contract Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease by eating a squirrel? If so, you’re not alone. In addition to eating squirrel, you can also contract Lyme disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and tularemia, all of which are incredibly rare diseases. To learn more, read on! But first, let’s talk about what you can’t eat.
Despite its rarity, creutzfeldt-jakob disease can be transmitted to humans through the meat and brain of infected squirrels. This deadly brain disorder results from the misfolding of proteins called prion proteins in the brain. The protein can damage the brain cells and cause dementia, psychosis, loss of coordination and even death. However, fortunately, it is not very common, with only 350 cases in the U.S. each year.
The symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob are the result of holes in the brain tissue and can cause the patient to become severely demented. The victims of this disease were aged 56 to 78 years old and had no family history. There are four forms of the disease, with one being transmitted by direct exposure to the brain tissue of infected squirrels. The rate of death from all forms of the disease is one per million worldwide. While researchers have not found a link between eating squirrel brains and the symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, they are aware that consuming infected brain tissue can spread the disease from person to person.
Tularemia is a potentially fatal disease that affects humans and wildlife. The symptoms of tularemia include fever, joint pain, and malaise. It can also cause diarrhea and enlargement of the spleen. However, there is no single test that can reliably diagnose tularemia. To ensure a correct diagnosis, a doctor will ask about your medical history and order a blood test.
Tularemia is often associated with a tick bite, but in other parts of the world, it is usually contracted through a mosquito bite. Wear long sleeves, tuck pants into socks, and wear broad-brimmed hats. Always wear protective gear when outdoors and use an insect repellent with 20% to 30% DEET or picaridin. Also, wash your hands after handling wild animals.
In most cases, tularemia is self-limited, but treatment is necessary to ensure a full recovery. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe, depending on the route of infection and the number of infected people. While the disease is curable, it can be fatal if not treated properly. The incubation period varies from 3 to 5 days, to as long as two weeks. Depending on the route of infection, the symptoms can appear within three days to a week.
Eating squirrels and ticks can transmit Lyme disease to humans. While the disease is rarely life-threatening, it is important to know that there is a risk. In addition to the risk of getting an infection from eating squirrels and ticks, humans can develop neurological problems that mimic the summer flu. Fortunately, early detection and treatment can reduce the likelihood of developing serious health problems. Read on to learn more about the dangers of eating squirrels.
Some birds may be reservoirs for Lyme disease. Birds such as the golden-crowned sparrow and American robin have been linked to Lyme disease-like illness in humans throughout North America and Europe. Birds are more likely to be exposed to Lyme bacteria from ticks when they are larval stage. However, birds are much less densely distributed than small mammals in Lyme disease habitat. This means that the bacteria that causes Lyme disease in humans is more likely to spread via bird bites than from squirrel bites.
Tularensis is a contagious disease caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. It has been linked to several types of diseases, including respiratory failure and inflammation of the lungs. There are other complications as well, including meningitis (inflammation of the meninges), pericarditis (swelling of the pericardium), and bone infection. While tularemia is extremely rare, there is still concern that it could become a bioweapon used for biological warfare.
Tularemia can infect humans or animals. The disease is usually spread by contact with the infected animal’s blood or fine dust. It is also transmitted by ingestion of raw animal products like meat, eggs, and skin. But eating squirrel is not harmful for most people. Tularemia can be fatal if left untreated. In most cases, however, there is no reason to avoid hunting squirrels.
What diseases can you get from eating squirrel?
There are several diseases that you can contract from consuming squirrel meat including leptospirosis salmonella and trichinosis.
While these diseases are typically not fatal they can cause serious illness.
Therefore it is advisable to thoroughly cook squirrel meat before eating it.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.