It is the time of year when families are engaging in outdoor activities and are more apt to be confronted by wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats. These animals may look cute but they may also be carrying a dangerous virus called rabies. The rabies virus is found in wild animals and can be transferred to a human if bitten, therefore one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to avoid all wild animals even if they seem friendly. If you see a wild animal that is acting strangely, report it to animal control.
Family pets are at risk of getting bit by a rabid wild animal too.. If they are bitten by a wild animal they may also be exposed to rabies, increasing the risk of family members contracting rabies because of close contact with family pets. Family pets that have not been up-to-date with their rabies shots and have been exposed to rabies must be quarantined for six months, or put down, because of their risk of getting rabies after exposure. Therefore, it is very important to help reduce the risk of rabies expose by:
- Taking your family pet to the veterinarian on a regular basis to keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date.
- Keep cats and ferrets indoors and watch dogs while outdoors.
- Having your family pet spayed or neutered helps reduce unwanted animals from coming in contact with your pet, potentially exposing them to rabies.
- Call animal control if you observe wild or stray animals in your neighborhood.
- Do not feed or provide water to your pets outdoors because it may attract wild or stray animals.
- Keep trash and rubbish in a container with a tight fitting cover to reduce attracting wild and stray animals.
If exposure to rabies has occurred it is important to contact your health provider because rabies can be prevented by a series of shots. It is also important to contact animal control to capture the animal for observation or rabies testing as well. To keep your family safe from exposure to rabies, talk with your family members about the dangers of rabies and what needs to be done to stay healthy and rabies free.
- Wednesday, 25 July 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Webster Board of Health