Opossums are carriers of many diseases: tuberculosis, relapsing fever, herpes virus, tularemia, salmonella, spotted fever,
toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, Chagas Disease, yellow fever, and rabies (rarely). They are important reservoirs
for leptospirosis (hemorrhagic jaundice) in wildlife and humans. Leptospirosis
is transmitted through the urine and feces of infected animals. Humans frequently pick up the disease by eating unwashed produce
or windfall fruit, or by putting unwashed hands to their mouth (gum, cigarettes, etc.). Opossums are also heavily infested
with fleas, ticks, mites and lice which are known carriers and transmitters of disease.