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Avoid Rabies: Stay Away From Wildlife

October 8, 2019

The Quinnipiack Valley Health District (QVHD) would like to remind residents that the best way to avoid rabies is to stay away from wildlife, including injured animals. Any mammal can get rabies, but the most commonly affected animals in the United States are raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes

Understanding your rabies risk and knowing what to do after a contact with wild animals or unvaccinated dogs and cats can save lives. The following information has been obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease. It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal. 

The rabies virus infects the central nervous system. If a person does not receive the appropriate medical care after a potential rabies exposure, the virus can cause disease in the brain, ultimately resulting in death. Rabies can be prevented by vaccinating pets, staying away from wildlife, and seeking medical care as soon as possible after  potential exposures.

Please be aware of the following signs of rabies, distemper or other disease in racoons or other mammals: unprovoked aggression, impaired movement, paralysis or lack of coordination, unusually friendly behavior, and disorientation. Just because a nocturnal (active at night) animal, like the raccoon, is active during daylight hours doesn’t necessarily mean that it is sick. Raccoons often adjust their feeding schedules, especially in the spring when rearing their young. (Source: CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife) 

If you come across a sick or strange-acting animal do not approach it or touch it AND report it to your local animal control officer or local police.  

For questions on rabies and human exposures, residents can call QVHD at (203) 248-4528.

Announcement Date: 
Tuesday, October 8, 2019