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What Is Echinococcus?

Is there any possibility of Echinococcus infection in this facility?
In this facility, we have been taking thorough measures against Echinococcus, like “never let Echinococcus in the facility nor spread” since its opening in 1990. All the foxes in the facility were artificially bred and tamed.

We also perform a parasite egg examination, etc. every year being ready just in case, cooperating with Japanese Association of Medical Technologists and Amanecer Corporation. We have experienced no infection so far.

Moreover, we have plural infection measures such as administering Praziquantel (Droncit:trade name) mixed in the raw feed twice a year as a special antiparasitic.

As for other diseases, too, we receive guidance from Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, and exchange various data with them.

Where does Echinococcus come from?
Echinococcus is a parasitic worm which is mainly alveolar hydatid, and lives in cooler parts of the northern hemisphere, such as Siberia, Central Asia, Central Europe, and Alaska. It is regarded to range to 40°N and northward.

In 1920, an explosive increase in number of field mice occurred on Rebunto Island situated in northern Hokkaido, and Ezo red foxes from Kurile Islands were released as natural enemies. Echinococcus is considered to have been introduced to Japan at the same time.

For a half century since then, Echinococcus has spread throughout Hokkaido, and its infection seems to be expanded.

Infection route of Echinococcus

Wild foxes and dogs, and field mice have kill-or-be-killed relationship. If a dog/fox eats a field mouse infected with Echinococcus, the worm infests and grows in the bowels of the dog/fox, and the parasite eggs would be evacuated with their feces.

If a parasite egg enters a human mouth by some chance, it infests in the liver as a larva and causes Echinococcosis. The incubation period is as long as more than 10 years.

Please note that, the infection occurs only when a parasite egg enter through the mouth. A larva enters through the mouth does not cause the infection.

Pigs are also infected, however, the infection does not occur between pigs and humans, humans and humans, or field mice and humans.

Based on the above, we are taking the following measures against Echinococcus and other diseases.

– Antiparasitic in the facility: once a month
– Living body oral antiparasitic processing: once a month (mixed in feed)
– Sterilizing the roads, etc.: everyday
– Special antiparasitic processing: twice a year (in July and December)
– Deodorizing the facility: everyday (improving the soil in the facility, spraying deodorizer)

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