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Women in Alabama attacked by rabid raccoon
Women in Alabama attacked by rabid raccoon

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It seems like we always have to be on guard against something that can kill or hurt us.

Personally, I am more afraid of snakes than anything else

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It’s not like snakes, bears, alligators, coyotes and the recently sighted black panthers, which are nothing to worry about.

Can you imagine what would happen if this rabies epidemic hit these much more dangerous animals?

Have you ever thought that in 2023 we should be cautious about rabies?

We should too! There are two strains of rabies in Alabama that can not only make our pets and livestock sick, but can infect us too! Here in Alabama, a rabid raccoon bit a woman in her yard. scroll down to watch the video. Warning: Graphic content may not be suitable for everyone. Viewers should carefully consider their opinions.

Although I have seen movies and videos of rabid animals, it never occurred to me that I could get rabies. You think it can’t happen? Check out the video below of a rabid raccoon here in Alabama! The two strains we have in Alabama are the raccoon and bat varieties. Alabama law requires all cats, dogs and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies after 12 weeks of age.

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Should our livestock be vaccinated as well? The answer is yes! Most of our cases are caused by raccoon bites or scratches. However, foxes, bats, skunks and coyotes are known to spread infection. Unfortunately, rabies infection almost always results in death. According to the CDC, the clinical signs of rabies in animals are the following…

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“The rabies virus causes acute encephalitis in all warm-blooded hosts, which is almost always fatal. The initial symptoms of rabies may be nonspecific and include lethargy, fever, vomiting and anorexia. The signs progress within a few days to brain dysfunction, cranial nerve dysfunction, ataxia, weakness, paralysis, seizures, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, abnormal behavior, aggression and/or self-mutilation.”

That’s true for our pets, but what about us? Are there symptoms we need to look out for? The answer is yes. The CDC has outlined the following…

“The initial symptoms of rabies may resemble those of the flu and include weakness or malaise, fever, or headache. Malaise, tingling, or itching may also occur at the bite site. These symptoms may last for several days. Then, symptoms progress to cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, and agitation. As the illness progresses, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, hydrophobia (fear of water), and insomnia. The acute phase of illness usually ends in 2 to 10 days. Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is almost always fatal, and treatment is usually supportive. Fewer than 20 cases of survivors of clinical rabies have been documented. Few survivors had no history of pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis.”

So what should we do to prevent premature death from rabies? First, make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies or receive the rabies booster shot. And us? If you are injured by a wild animal, wash the area immediately and contact animal control to see if the animal can be caught. Then contact your doctor and discuss rabies vaccination.

This is a series of 5 shots that you will receive over a 14 day period. I know shots stink, but I would rather endure the needles than potentially die.

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