Now that the weather is warmer and the days are longer, people are spending more time outdoors. This raises the possibility of people coming into contact with wild animals that could potentially be carrying rabies.
How Rabies Is Spread
Many animals can carry rabies, including raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats, and feral cats. The rabies virus is carried in saliva and the nervous system and can be transmitted from an animal to a human through a bite. A person can also get rabies if saliva from an infected animal comes into contact with an open wound or a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
One of the most common sources of rabies infection is bats. Bats often seek out shelter inside attics and can infect humans with rabies through bites.
How to Deal with Wild Animals
During the spring, many animals will be giving birth. People often find baby animals left alone and think they have been abandoned by their mother, which may or may not be true. The mother could just be off looking for food. If you try to rescue a baby animal, it can be infected with rabies, and the animal can pass the virus to you if it gets frightened and bites you.
If you find a baby animal alone outside, don’t touch it. It is likely that the mother is still nearby and will be back soon. If the mother does not come back after several hours, you can call a wildlife rehabilitator who can figure out whether or not the baby animal needs to be rescued and who will know how to care for it. You should never handle a wild animal yourself.
Talk to your children about the dangers of contracting rabies from wild animals. Tell them never to touch a wild animal and instruct them to tell you if they come into contact with a wild animal.
What to Do If You Come into Contact with a Wild Animal
Many wild animals can carry rabies and pass it to humans, even if they do not appear sick. If you see a wild animal, it is best to avoid it to protect yourself. If you are bitten by a wild animal, seek medical help immediately. If a wild animal gets into your home, do not try to trap it yourself because you could get injured. Call Anderson Wildlife Control and let us humanely trap and relocate the animal.