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Four Confirmed Cases of Rabid Raccoons in Chittenden County

Health leaders said just in the past 10 days they've confirmed four cases of raccoons infected with rabies.
CHITTENDEN COUNTY, VT- Health leaders said just in the past 10 days they've confirmed four cases of raccoons infected with rabies.

The wild animals were trapped in Burlington and South Burlington.

Two of the raccoons were found in the Old North End of town, near Lafountain and Hyde Streets.

But all types of animals carry the disease, including skunks, woodchucks, and bats.

Community Service Officer Joseph Corrow said it has to do with the warmer weather.

The virus can spread through the bite of or contact with saliva from an infected animal, and it can be fatal

So, far we know of four reports in Chittenden County...not including 11 reports recorded already this year in Clarendon County, south of Rutland.

"We get a lot more confirmed cases, then we do negative cases," said Joseph Corrow.

Parish Gibson noticed something strange on her way home from work Tuesday.

"I saw this furry little thing in the middle of the street, I thought it was a cat, but i got closer, and then i could tell it was a raccoon," said Gibson.

Her neighbor, Monica Brager also saw the sick animal.

"When I came out, it started coming up my driveway."

But Monica knew it was best to leave it alone, although it wasn't easy.

"You just want to help it. They had to put it down which that helped it, but it's still sad," said Berger.

Officials said animals with rabies aren't difficult to spot.

"Look for the warning signs of bald spots, missing hair, the animal can't walk around correctly, that it's agressive, or it's not being aggressive at all. That it's letting you get very close to it," said Corrow.

And is a good reminder to vaccinate your pets and not attract wild animals with food, compost, or exposed trash.

"If there's something as easy as banana peels, and other types of trash in your yard, they are going to com right over and eat it, and that's going to put you in a dangerous situation as well as your animals," Corrow added.

So the best advice is to stay away, and call for help.

"We ask that you don't approach the animal at all. Because there's always a chance you could get bit or scratched, and we don't want you to contract rabies, or put yourself in a situation that we can handle."

If you come across an animal acting strangely, contact Animal Control or the Vermont Rabies Hotline 1-800-4RABIES.
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