These days Zika is the disease to fear, whereas rabies has been largely forgotten about. Although rabies might not be a serious problem today, it could be, and rabies could infect many people during a brief period of time with relative ease. As a result of the vast amounts of scientific inquiry over the past several decades, rabies is a well-understood and well controlled animal-borne disease. However, there are still instances of infected animals spreading the disease. For example, a recent case in the United States had a rabid raccoon biting a dog before it was successfully put down.
After a raccoon attacked a dog around a week ago in the Southeastern United States, researchers determined that the raccoon in question was infected with rabies. After a wily raccoon was spotted in a busy neighborhood, residents shot the raccoon and removed its head for research, but only after the raccoon bit a resident’s dog. You have to wonder if the decapitation was recommended by a scientist before the act of decapitation, or if this is a neighborhood full of very sick individuals. After analyzing the raccoon’s detached head, the researchers concluded that the raccoon was indeed infected with rabies.
Luckily, no other human or animal was infected as a result of the stray, and rabid raccoon. The dog that sustained a bite from the rabid animal had already been vaccinated for rabies. However, in an effort to prevent any more exposure to the infection, the dog was revaccinated and placed on a forty five day quarantine. During the forty five day period, the dog owners are responsible for reporting to the proper authorities any strange behavior that is not typical of the dog in question. Pet owners are strongly advised to remain up to date regarding their pet’s vaccinations and other required shots.
Do you think raccoons get a bad rep due to the fact that they spread rabies more frequently than most other animals? Is this reputation, unfair?