NEW YORK (AP) – A Brooklyn infant has permanent brain damage and a teenager has lost sight in one eye after contracting a rare disease that can be transmitted through contact with raccoon feces.

New York City’s Health Department is warning parents to be on the alert for the disease, called raccoon roundworm. The disease can cause nausea, nerve damage and possible death. The department’s Sally Slavinski says parents should supervise children to keep them from ingesting raccoon feces. The worms lay eggs in the feces; they hatch after being ingested and travel through the body.

Droppings should be picked up using gloves and disposable bags, and put in the trash.

The infant has been hospitalized since suffering seizures and spinal problems last October. The teenager went blind in one eye in January.

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