Our perception of rabies can be influenced by how the disease is represented in mainstream media. Animals with rabies are often portrayed as dangerous, monstrous creatures foaming at the mouth with bloodshot eyes. In some cases, like in cartoons, they might even be portrayed as comical or even harmless.
To help you stay safe and informed about the right type of dangers associated with rabies, here are a few little known facts about the disease:
1.Animals infected with rabies aren’t always foaming at the mouth. Paralytic rabies, a form of the disease that causes loss of muscle control, actually has the opposite effect. Animals with paralytic rabies are generally lethargic, lazy, and seemingly harmless. Consider this next time you handfeed your friendly neighborhood squirrel.
2.Each year, rabies kills more than 59,000 people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) the hardest hit countries are those in Asia and Africa, with almost half of the victims under 15 years of age.
3.You can protect yourself with pre-exposure vaccinations. If you work in a profession with a high risk of exposure to the disease, like in a veterinary clinic, or as an animal control officer, there are vaccines available to ensure you are protected.
4.Hydrophobia, or fear of water, is one of the strange side effects of rabies. Initially, this symptom can be presented as a sore throat or randomly contracting muscles in the neck. As the disease progresses, the symptoms can worsen and make swallowing water painful.
5.According to the CDC, bats are the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species. In 2015, bats accounted for 30.9% of all animal rabies cases. Rabid bats can be found in all states in the U.S.
6.All mammals can be affected by rabies. Although bats, raccoons, opossums, skunks, and foxes are among the animals most frequently affected by rabies, any mammal can contract the disease, including humans.
7.A DIY removal of an animal with rabies is extremely dangerous, and should always be done by a professional, like the experts at Raider Wildlife Control. Without the proper knowledge or equipment, removing an animal with rabies on your own is a serious health risk for you, your family, and your pets. Rabies is contracted through saliva. With one quick bite, you could easily be infected by this disease, leading to sickness and even death.
Animals with rabies aren’t always horrific. It’s important to have your wits about you when dealing with wild animals, and to understand the dangers of the disease.
If you suspect an animal with rabies is frequenting your property or home, please call a professional pest removal service.