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Two people bitten by bobcat suspected to be rabid


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, December 14, 2018, 3:27 PM - Fish and wildlife officials in Vermont are investigating after a bobcat was shot and killed when it attacked and bit two people.

One victim was attacked in a parking lot. Earlier in the day, the bobcat attacked a woman sitting on the porch of her home.

She was taken to the hospital.

While bobcats aren't uncommon, experts say this type of attack is exceptionally rare.

It's suspected the bobcat was suffering from rabies.

WHAT IS RABIES?

Rabies is a viral disease that can infect most mammals.

It is usually transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. It infects the central nervous system and when left untreated, the death rate is nearly 100 percent.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Headache

Rabid animals usually act in an aggressive manner, may be foaming and the mouth and display little fear of humans.

According to the Ministry of Health, the last known case of rabies infection in a human occurred in 1967 in the Ottawa area.

RABIES PREVENTION

The best way to protect your pets against rabies is to keep them up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

Avoid contact with wild animals and supervise pets when outside.

If you or a pet is bitten by an animal that may have rabies, wash the wound immediately with soap and water and consult a medical professional immediately.

Humans who have been exposed to rabies can be treated with immune globulin and four doses of a rabies vaccine over a two-week period, provided treatment is started as soon as possible.

In the past, post-exposure treatment consisted of painful injections in the stomach. Today's vaccines are less painful and can be injected into the arm and thigh.

VIDEO: RABID BEAVER ATTACKS FATHER AND DAUGHTER WHILE KAYAKING



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