Dangers of Rabies

by Katie McGraw on August 29, 2013 at 2:24 am

The state is taking steps to stop the spread of rabies. On Monday the health department began setting out baits with rabies vaccine in the eastern part of Ohio.

Three animals that pose a risk to our portion of the United States are bats, raccoons and skunks. So far this year, there have been 5 cases of raccoons infected with rabies in Ohio. According to the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department, one bat has also tested positive in 2013 near our area.

"So it is out there in the community and that’s why we really urge people to get their animals, ferrets, dogs, anything that can be vaccinated against rabies, should be vaccinated against rabies,” said Southeast Ohio Regional Epidemiologist, Kristen Baker. “People need to be aware that the rabies virus is out there and they just need to make sure that they take the proper prevention methods."

These prevention methods include vaccinating your animals and paying attention to how wild animals are behaving.

"If you see a skunk out in the middle of the day, or a raccoon out in the middle of the day, that’s not normal for them. Chances are, there might be something wrong with them, so call animal control."

You need to seek medical attention if you were bit by any animal or if a wild animal, such as a bat, is found in your home and you were not sure you have been bitten in your sleep. With no treatment rabies is fatal.