The parasite was found in a fox in western Sweden. Photo: Claus Gertsen/Scanpix
Veterinary discovery

Dangerous parasite found in a fox in Sweden

The dwarf tapeworm infestation has reached Sweden for the first time, according to the National Veterinary Institute. The parasite, which can damage the human liver, has been found in one of 300 foxes tested by the institute. The fox was found in the west of the country, near Gothenburg.

Over the next few months, many more foxes in Western Sweden will be examined in order to map the spread of the parasite.

The eggs of the tapeworm can end up on berries and mushroom in the woods via the fox's faeces. The parasite is relatively harmless to foxes, cats and dogs. It does not usually spread to humans, but if it does it could cause serious illness, as it is hard to treat and discover. The advice from the veterinary institute is to wash your hands after touching pets that have been out in the affected areas, and to cook mushrooms and wash berries picked in those areas.

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