Four rabid animal cases reported in Chittenden County in past 10 days


BURLINGTON - Even Vermont's most populated area is not free from the threat of rabies. The last four animals that have tested positive for rabies, all raccoons, were trapped in Burlington and South Burlington.

"This is a good reminder to vaccinate your pets and not attract wild animals with food, compost, bird seed or exposed trash," said Robert Johnson, DVM, state public health veterinarian.

Eleven cases have been recorded so far this year among raccoons, skunks, and one bobcat in Clarendon.

Avoid contact with any wild animal, and if it is acting strangely, contact the Vermont Rabies Hotline: 800-472-2437 (800-4-RABIES), Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (toll-free in Vermont), or 802-223-8697.

There has never been a human case of rabies reported to the Health Department since the disease was first recorded in the state in 1963. The virus can spread through the bite of - or contact with - saliva from an infected animal. Rabies vaccine given soon after exposure is highly effective at preventing illness. Once the signs and symptoms of rabies start to appear, there is no treatment and the disease is almost always fatal.

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