Several forms of wildlife are known for spreading rabies to humans and other animals. These animals include, raccoons, opossums and bats. Since raccoons have adapted to urban living, it is not uncommon for people to spot the animals running across roads, congregating below bridges and, of course, rustling through trash during the dark of night. It is far less common to spot raccoons during the day as opposed to night, as raccoons are nocturnal hunters. Raccoons that expose themselves to humans during the daytime are always suspected of being infected with rabies, and this is a valid concern.
If, during the daytime hours, a raccoon is spotted looking surprised before promptly fleeing from a person, then the raccoon may not be infected with rabies, as such behavior is typical of a healthy and sensible raccoon. However, if a raccoon is spotted moving slowly during the day, with little regard for nearby humans, then there is a good chance that that raccoon is infected with rabies. It is particularly important to keep an eye on young children as they play outdoors, as just about every neighborhood in the US is also home to hidden raccoon dens. Unfortunately, not long ago, a young boy sustained several bites from a rabid raccoon while playing about on the front porch of his home. Luckily, the boy’s mother saved him from a potentially tragic fate.
Four year old Chandler Mahaffey’s mother found her son struggling to fight off a highly aggressive raccoon on the family’s property outside of Atlanta. The mother witnessed her son sustain several bites during the struggle. Fortunately, Chandler’s mom shot the raccoon dead after kicking the raccoon off of her son. Shortly before the mother took the fatal shot, the raccoon ran around the house in a frantic attempt to attack other people located nearby. In accordance with public health guidelines, Chandler was immediately rushed to a hospital in Atlanta where the boy received treatment and rapidly recovered. But Chandler will always be scarred by this unfortunate wildlife encounter.
Do you think that it was best for Chandler to be rushed to the nearest hospital as opposed to waiting for paramedics to arrive at the scene?