Photo: Wonderlane, flickr
ST. JOHN’S—Local plumber and smart ass John Hyde died this week after being infected with Baylisascaris procyonis. Public health officials say this is the first case of B. procyonis death ever recorded in St. John’s.
It appears Mr. Hyde ingested raccoon droppings last fall when taunted by his wife. “I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe that idiot finally did what I told him and died because of it,” said a tearful Gina Hyde. “He was my husband and I loved him, but he was so headstrong. And such a dumb ass.”
Mrs. Hyde told Mooseclean’s that she and her husband had been arguing while walking through Victoria Park. When the fight reached a boiling point, Hyde suggested her husband eat shit and die. In response, he scanned the ground, grabbed a pile of crap and stuffed it in his mouth.
“He just kept yelling at me – Like this? Like this, Gina? – and eating poop. I walked away and we never talked about it again. He was always doing dumb stuff to make a point.”
Adam Sugar, head of the graduate program in Clinical Epidemiology at Memorial University, said the presence of this parasite is good reason to avoid eating dung. “The eggs that contain B. procyonis are found in the feces of many animals. It’s a slow-moving disease with no symptoms. That is, until it’s too late.”
When Mr. Hyde developed neurological issues last month, doctors at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital ran a battery of tests. “Unfortunately, this parasitic infection is very hard to diagnose,” said neurologist Wayne Scott. “We were looking for other causes. And by the time we figured out the problem, there really wasn’t anything we could do.”
Had Mr. Hyde sought treatment immediately after ingesting raccoon waste, he might have survived. However, the symptoms caused by B. procyonis larvae burrowing through his brain meant the damage was already done.
Mrs. Hyde hopes her husband’s death won’t be in vain. “I want people to be aware that eating raccoon excrement can be dangerous. And I want husbands to know that although they should do what their wives say, they should also recognize hyperbole for what it is.”
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that contributions be made to the Fecal Research Centre in memory of John Hyde.