I found this piece online that discusses some of the dangers raccoons can pose to public health. While we don't have raccoon rabies here in Southern California, the local raccoons can and do carry the very dangerous raccoon roundworm, Baylisascaris procyonis, which is not mentioned in the very brief piece by a tv station (typical!).
Don't let raccoons set up a latrine on your property. If they do, clean it up using good hygiene to minimize the risk to human and animal health. Baylisascaris can infect and kill perfectly healthy humans and their pets.
Wikipedia entry on B. procyonis
B. procyonis factsheet from Wisconsin's DHS