If you read the local news, it seems there’s always an item about police or wildlife control responding to the threat of a rabid wild animal. While it sounds a bit scary, it’s important to know that rabies is still quite rare. It is, however, invariably fatal without treatment, so contact with wild mammals should always be minimized, and if there’s any doubt at all, humans and pets should receive preventive treatment against rabies.
Rabies, a central nervous system disease, is transmitted through bites from infected animals or when saliva from an infected animal gets into an open wound.
Which Critters Get Rabies?
According to the CDC, wild animals accounted for 92.4 percent of reported cases of rabies in 2015. Bats were the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species (30.9 percent of all animal cases during 2015), followed by raccoons (29.4 percent), skunks (24.8 percent), and foxes (5.9 percent).
Although cross-species transmission of rabies is possible (for example, infection of dogs by raccoon rabies variant), most rabies virus variants are transmitted within a single species.
Preventing Exposure to Rabies
Minimizing your contact with wild mammals is the best way to prevent rabies. While you should presume that any wild animal could be a carrier of rabies, there are ways to spot animals that are showing symptoms. An infected animal will often become aggressive, making atypical noises, attacking humans and other animals and have trouble drinking and swallowing.
What Should You Do If You Think an Animal Is Rabid
People who think they’ve spotted a rabid animal should call their local police department, who may bring in animal control. Don’t attempt to trap or kill the animal yourself, as you could increase your chances of exposure to the disease. (If you do have contact with a wild animal, seek medical advice about treatment immediately.)
The best way to prevent exposure to rabies is to keep your home and yard clear of wild animals that could present a threat. Secure garbage and don’t leave food accessible and block anyways that animals could be gaining access to your home. This may require the help of a professional.
Call Anderson Wildlife for a Free Quote
Professional pest removal company Anderson Wildlife uses green methods for the removal of bats and other wildlife, eliminating any use of poisons, pesticides, or chemicals. Animals are relocated humanely, and we’ll repair any damage to your home or business and block entrances so the bats (or squirrels, or mice) can’t re-enter your home.
Call 203-758-0555 or visit us online for a free quote.