In a recent dispatch in the CDC’s publication, Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers from the Washington State Department of Health, the CDC and others describe a case of Baylisascaris procyonis roundworm infection in a child in Washington state, with autism spectrum disorder.
The article notes that in July 2022, a 7-year-old boy with a history of autism spectrum disorder and global developmental delay accompanied by lack of verbal ability began having episodes of mild motor impairment, lethargy, decreased responsiveness, and difficulty understanding and executing commands that lasted 45 minutes to 2 hours (first episode = day 0).
He was seen at an emergency department on day 11, then hospitalized by a second emergency department the next day after a prolonged period of stumbling and lethargy. The patient had not traveled outside of Washington in the past 2 years and had no household pets. In recent weeks, the patient had played in a sandbox where nonhuman feces were observed and visited a location with farm animals.
Researchers describe the laboratory testing used in diagnosis and the treatment of the child and his hospital discharge.
In addition, the authors performed an environmental investigation at the patient’s residence where a raccoon latrine was found. This was tested, along with the grassy area away from the latrine which tested positive for B. procyonis eggs.
Education was provided which include safe latrine clean-up, regular observation and prompt clean-up of feces, and methods to discourage raccoons from inhabiting nearby areas.
For more on Baylisascaris procyonis, check out the video below: