Many kinds of wild animals are found in San Mateo County, and most will occasionally enter urban and suburban neighborhoods in search of food, water, or shelter. These are a few of the species that may cause problems for residents of San Mateo County.
Raccoon roundworm is a type of worm that infects raccoons and can cause serious disease in humans that accidentally come into contact with it. The adult worms live in the intestines of raccoons and deposit eggs which can contaminate soil around raccoon latrines (see the brochure). Humans, particularly children, can become infected by coming into contact with roundworm eggs from contaminated soil.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects mammals, including wildlife, pets, and humans. It is most commonly transmitted through the bite of an infected animal.
Although rabies infections in humans are very rare, they are almost always fatal if not quickly identified and treated. Once symptoms appear, it is too late. To date, only two people worldwide have been documented to have survived clinical rabies.
Wild animals are a natural part of the environment in San Mateo County. It is normal for these animals to pass through properties as they go about their lives among the humans who have moved into their habitat. Some species may even be protected by law.
However, wild animals that lose their fear of people can become a nuisance, destroy property, or even pose a risk to human health. Never encourage wildlife to linger around human residences by feeding or by allowing access to food sources, including garbage, pet food, or fallen fruit.