Raccoons Spreading Rabies Nationwise

Raccoons Spreading Rabies Nationwise

Rabies is a horrible viral illness that attacks the brain. It is fatal unless rabies shots are given promptly, before symptoms appear. Transmitted through the saliva of rabid animals, rabies is spreading across North America, carried by raccoons.

The first such cases of rabies were detected in West Virginia in 1977. Since then, rabid raccoons have spread throughout the eastern US, including Virginia, Vermont, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, New Hampshire and Maine.

Now, according to the January 21st, 2000 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, raccoon rabies has spread across the St. Lawrence River into Canada, leaving few natural barriers to its westward spread.

More aggressive wildlife rabies control measures may contain the spread, but it is still wise to teach children to avoid contact with these cute but mischievous neighbors.

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Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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