Do raccoons have rabies? A lot of people ask this question. Rumors and misconceptions of serious, deadly diseases always seem to spread faster than the truth. Sometimes people can get the facts right but are still afraid of the possibility.
If you’re trying to do your research, we’ve compiled all of the information. Read on to learn more about the raccoon strain of rabies and how to protect yourself.
Commonly Held Belief of Rabies in Raccoons
Raccoons are indeed notorious carriers of rabies, and it is commonly held belief they more often have rabies than other mammals. Studies have found between 30 and 40 percent of raccoons tested in some parts of the United States were carrying rabies.
Raccoons are particularly vulnerable to being infected because of their habit of approaching urban areas for food and shelter. Although it is possible for adult raccoons to be vaccinated against the virus, it is not recommended due to their nocturnal habits. This makes it difficult to locate and vaccinate them.
Any contact with a raccoon should be avoided. If an individual is bitten or scratched, medical attention should be sought immediately. To protect pets and livestock, it is best to avoid and don’t feed raccoons and have rodent control in place. Keep them out of yards, and make sure pets and livestock have up-to-date vaccinations.
Of course, the best way to avoid transmission of the rabies virus is to avoid contact with raccoons altogether.
The Real Risk of Rabies From Raccoons
Raccoons are an endangered species in some places, but they can still carry a serious health risk in the form of rabies. While the risk of actually contracting rabies from a raccoon is quite low, the danger is still real and must be taken into consideration.
Raccoons are common carriers of the rabies virus and are able to spread the disease through their saliva, urine, and feces. This can then be passed along to other animals, including humans, if not treated properly.
While only a small percentage of raccoons actually have rabies, even a single infected animal could cause a widespread of the virus if bitten by other animals or humans. As such, it is important to be aware of the potential danger that rabies can pose and to take the necessary precautions if a situation arises.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Raccoon-Related Rabies
Raccoons are the most commonly reported wild animal with rabies. The most frequent rabies-related symptoms observed in a raccoon may include difficulty walking, confusion, aggression, paralysis, or lack of fear of humans.
In addition to these clinical signs, raccoons may also display salivation, as well as anorexia, increased aggression, and depression. As a result of the rabies virus, the raccoon may become extremely susceptible to environmental changes, even becoming paralyzed in some cases.
If you suspect a raccoon is infected with rabies, avoid contact and contact your local health department for guidance or to set up a rabies test.
Do Raccoons Have Rabies? Here’s the Answer
Do raccoons have rabies?
In conclusion, raccoons can have rabies. However, the risk and possibility of them carrying rabies can be minimized if people and their pets are kept away from wild animals and wild raccoons.
If you encounter an injured or sick-looking raccoon, do not approach it but seek immediate assistance from wildlife experts.
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