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Int J Zoonoses. 1984 Dec;11(2):189-94.

Visceral larva migrans: a risk assessment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


Visceral larva migrans, VLM, is a disease of young children. Due to lack of awareness of the disease as well as its non-specific symptomology, a survey of the potential risk of acquiring the disease was conducted in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. The greatest number of dogs showing positive results to tests for the presence of the eggs of Toxocara canis were those less than one year of age. Very few of the soil samples collected from twenty different parks/playgrounds were found to contain eggs of T. canis. A higher percentage of soil samples from individual yards proved to be contaminated with the eggs of the parasite. Even though the incidence of VLM in Baton Rouge is reported to be quite low, the potential for the infection certainly is present. Veterinarians must be prepared to take a leading role in the education of their clients as to the potential of the disease for the children associated with new puppies, and the measures parents can take to reduce the exposure potential.

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