Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | Home RSS

Keep a distance from wild animals

March 9, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

Imagine driving down a deserted road and coming upon an animal that appears to be either injured or lost. You stop to help it along its way.

Sounds like a heartfelt humanitarian effort. Or is it instead an invitation for disaster?

For three people traveling through Pendleton County last weekend, the latter is true. Apparently, a man, woman and child were traveling along U.S. 220 when they stopped to help an injured raccoon. The woman told a witness that someone in their car had been bitten by the animal, and the trio then drove away.

The witness later took the raccoon to a veterinary clinic, where it tested positive for rabies. Now, health officials are desperately searching for the person who was bitten. Anyone who has additional information is urged to call the Pendleton County Health Department at 304-358-7565.

Rabies is serious and, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, it "is usually passed to humans through the bite of a rabid animal."

While it's vitally important that the victim seek medical attention, it's equally imperative that people take precautions to avoid infection.

The DHHR recommends avoiding contact with unfamiliar animals:

Do not handle or feed wild animals.

Never adopt or bring wild animals into your home.

Teach children not to handle any unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.

If you are bitten by an animal, wash the wound with soap and water, and seek medical attention immediately.

Only a few cases of rabies have been confirmed in West Virginia so far this year. Those numbers commonly rise during the warmer months when people spend more time outdoors. However, keeping a distance from wild animals is a good practice year-round.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web