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Crabapple Knoll Veterinary Clinic

Client Education Series


CDC Study Shows that Children Are at Risk


A study released Nov. 8, 2007, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that Toxocariasis in people is more common than previously believed. In fact, the study, which was funded by Novartis Animal Health, found that 14 percent of Americans have contracted roundworms from dogs or cats. 

"This recent seroprevalence study by CDC was unique in its scope," said Michael Paul, DVM, executive director of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), a group that advocates year-round parasite prevention. "Nothing so in-depth has been done so we don't know what the baseline was, say 10 years ago. What we do know is that for so many people to be exposed and infected is unacceptable and avoidable. The real question is what is an acceptable incidence in a country like ours? Why should any child be at risk?"

Young children and young adults are at the highest risk for infection, according to the report, which was presented at the American Society of Tropical medicine and Hygiene. Although industry guidelines produced by the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) suggest year-round preventative medicine for pets to control such parasites, studies show that these guidelines are not being followed. 

            Identifying veterinarians as a key element to prevention of these parasites, the CDC published a prevention guideline for veterinarians with the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists

Paul concurs. "One major place we can have an impact is through education. Veterinarians and consumers must recognize that this is not a hypothetical problem," he said. "The risk is real and the impact is potentially devastating. When the disease impacts humans it is particularly tragic because the risk can so easily be reduced… The key is year-round and universal application of parasite prevention and control measures."

* Our clinic recommends year-round parasite prevention for dogs and cats. Many of the preventatives available today can be given easily by the pet owner on a monthly basis and help protect pets from multiple dangerous parasites including heartworms, intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, and even external parasites such as fleas and ticks.  Please call us if you have questions about parasite prevention for your pets and family.