WMUR – A rare tapeworm that had never been found in a person in New Hampshire has now been found in two moose hunters.
The state’s Health and Human Services Department is alerting health care workers in the state of the parasite.
Officials said humans are at low risk of contracting the parasite, but if a dog comes in contact with raw game, such as moose, the risk for a person to get it rises, which is what happened in New Hampshire.
“It’s the first time it’s been identified in humans,” said Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, infectious disease physician at Dartmouth Hitchcock Health and the state’s deputy epidemiologist.
Talbot said that over the past several years, the state has been tracking a tapeworm in moose populations in northern New Hampshire.
“The dog licks themselves and then a human touches the dog or gets licked by the dog and gets contaminated with an egg.”
This year, two confirmed cases of the parasite showed up in Granite State moose hunters. Both were butchering the moose with their pet dogs.
“Typically what happens is they are getting this because they may have had a dog that fed on the raw meat or raw organs of the animals, and then they pick it up through the feces of the dog,” said Dan Bergeron, Fish and Game wildlife division chief.
The rare tapeworm, echinococcus granulosus, usually is transferred between animals with hooves, such as moose or sheep, and canids, such as dogs, wolves or coyotes.
The parasite rarely transfers to humans unless the person comes in contact with feces that has a viable egg of the parasite in it … READ MORE.