Raccoon Rabies: Symptoms, Transmission, And Prevention

Here is a discussion on rabies in raccoons.

If you’ve been chased by a raccoon in the past, it’s a highly unusual occurrence that’s likely to be traced to the animal’s health condition.

Raccoons are hardly known to be active during the daytime.

Plus, they’ll only lunge at humans as a measure to either defend their young or if they feel threatened.

Raccoon And Rabies

Raccoon rabies is a virus that gets transmitted through direct exposure with saliva or mucous membranes in the eyes etc. of an infected animal. The animal in this case is the raccoon.

This is a scary prospect for most people as the mere presence of these animals isn’t tolerated. As such, most property owners, do everything to get rid of them.

Do All Raccoons Have Rabies?

This is an important question to ask because raccoons are among the primary transmitters of rabies to humans. Thankfully, not all raccoons are carriers.

In other words, only rabid raccoons spread rabies to humans. This is a welcome relief for many. However, you’ll need to ensure you keep these animals off your property.

Is Raccoon Rabies Transmissible To Humans?

One of the first things likely to come to mind when raccoon rabies is being discussed is how transmissible the disease is. In other words, the need to know whether humans are at risk of getting infected with raccoon rabies is of great importance.

Raccoon rabies can easily be spread to people when bitten by infected raccoons. Rabid raccoons will usually roam around and readily attack humans when they cross paths.

For a lot of homeowners, encounters with raccoons around their property are quite common.

There’s a higher chance of getting attacked by a rabid raccoon when their presence is much around your location.

Such a scary possibility requires urgent wildlife control. You can have protective measures activated around your dwellings and immediate surroundings.

How Raccoon Rabies Gets Transmitted

To have a better idea of how raccoon rabies is spread, you’ll need to consider the aggressive nature displayed by infected raccoons. One of the primary modes of rabies transmission to humans is through raccoon bites.

The rabies virus is contained within the saliva of infected raccoons.

As such when a person is bitten, he/she automatically gets infected. This is a fatal situation as fully established rabies infection mostly leads to death.

Currently, there are no effective treatments to cure an already established infection.

The only possibility of recovery is by taking immediate shots aimed at preventing the viral infection from taking hold. Immediate medical attention is needed to recover.

Raccoon Rabies Symptoms

When infected, rabies distorts the central nervous system of mammals. This includes humans, dogs, and raccoons.

You’ll need to be able to identify such symptoms to enable you to keep a safe distance from such animals while calling and waiting for help to arrive.

  • Rabies Symptoms in Raccoons

Raccoons will display several symptoms that can be easily be identified as typical of rabies. With such signs displayed, it’s a sure bet that you’re dealing with a rabid raccoon.

Is the raccoon having difficulty walking or it’s moving in circles? It’s one of the strong signs that it has rabies.

Rabies also has a debilitating impact on raccoons as it mostly paralyzes their hind legs. Also, you may hear the raccoon making strange noises which are unlike the chatter and loud noises made by them when mating or fighting.

The strange noises made may be in the form of whimpering.

Does it foam at the mouth? This is one clear sign that should easily identify a rabid raccoon. If the raccoon seems disoriented or confused, it’s also a possible case of rabies. An infected raccoon will look drunk.

This is coupled with a general sickly look.

  • Rabies Symptoms in Humans

When bitten by rabid raccoons, a person is likely to witness a whole range of symptoms. Such symptoms range from pains in the muscles, loss of appetite, dizziness, fatigue, malaise, fever, and delirium.

Other symptoms include hallucinations, muscle spasms, paralysis with weak muscles, sensitivity to light, irritability or aggression, nausea or vomiting as well as coma.

Other symptoms displayed by affected humans include confusion, seizures, stiff neck, drooling, headache dilated pupils, and hyper-salivation.

Racoon Rabies Prevention

It’s obvious that being bitten by a rabid raccoon is highly risky and could lead to loss of life. As such, you’ll want to take your preventive measures more seriously. The farther away raccoons are from your property the better.

You’ll need to first identify the usual attractions that make your home an easy target. If your home has ample clutter and overgrown shrubs, it’s likely to serve as an open invitation to these animals.

You’ll also need to protect your trash, adopting scare tactics and also fencing off your yard or garden.

Are there fruit trees that drop overripe fruits to the ground? You’ll need to have these cleared and also take away pet food. Let’s briefly discuss each of these points.

  • Clear Clutter & Overgrown Shrubs

Clutter and overgrown shrubs are sure recipes to attract raccoons. These mammals find ample hiding spots around such areas and will easily consider your home a haven.

Asides from the problems caused, you’re likely to have a rabid raccoon come over.

  • Protect your Trashcan

Raccoons find your trashcan irresistible as it holds a lot of goodies they can feed on. This is quite gross, but common with raccoons around. Have your trashcan emptied regularly and tightly sealed as well.

  • Apply Scare Tactics

Have you considered installing motion-activated sprinklers around the most affected areas of your home? This does a good job in scaring off raccoons including rabid ones.

  • Fence off Yard and Garden

You may want to install an electric fence to ward off raccoons from gaining access into your garden or yard. You’ll need to use this mostly at nighttime when they’re most active.

  • Remove Dropped Fruits

Dropped fruits serve as an open invitation to raccoons. They’ll come in their numbers when there’s an incentive such as this. You’ll need to have such fruits frequently removed to leave them with nothing to come to.

  • Take Pet Food Indoors

If you leave pet food outdoors, you might want to reconsider such action.

Raccoons will feed on almost anything they can find including pet food. Taking such indoors lessens the incentives for these animals coming around.

Like rabid dogs, there are also rabid raccoons that present significant risks to humans and animals. We’ve discussed how it’s transmitted, common symptoms, and other related areas.

The fewer dealings you have with such animals the better.

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