Parasite Warning

Prairie Urban Farm

There is a rather nasty parasite making its way around Edmonton. The parasite is called Echinococcus multilocularis. This parasite has only recently appeared in Canada, and it seems the main place it has done so is right here in Alberta. 17 Albertans have been diagnosed with it so far.

So why are we telling you all about this? Because coyote (or dog) feces contain the eggs and these are relatively to ingest accidentally, particularly for folks who like to play in the dirt like we do, and we get a fair number of visitors of the coyote variety to our farm. Rodents also carry this parasite, but can't convey it to people unless we eat them.

The parasite can be fatal, particularly if not caught—and it does appear that a person can have the parasite for years without knowing it. See this news story about an Alberta case.

I seem to have reasons to be thankful for Ron, our friendly Farm-hood rodent manager on a regular basis, and this month is no exception, he has already been out to disinfect around the shed and wood stacks.

But given that the eggs can survive our cold winter temps, I think we should assume there will be some around on the farm this spring. Gloves, regular hand washing (which has become so important lately), and thorough washing of produce are in order. Please also keep a close eye on kids and pets.

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  1. Have you experienced this problem at Prairie Urban Farm?

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