The news report of a rabid cow in South Carolina tested positive for rabies.
Rabies is a disease caused by a Lyssavirus that causes infection and inflammation of the brain in people and mammals. The disease is contracted through direct contact with an infected being via a bite.
From the bite site, the virus travels to the brain. The onset of symptoms. or incubation period may vary from individual to individual. Once the symptoms start they almost exclusively neurological because of the location of the inflammation. The symptoms that may be seen are changes in the normal behavior, sudden movements, uncontrolled excitement, illogical fear of water, wild animals stop being afraid to come to urban areas and be among people, confusion, paralysis, and death.
Domestic animals such as farm animals are not forced by law to be vaccinated by rabies. A vaccine is available on the market, but rarely any farmer decides to vaccinate against this deadly virus.
In South Carolina, because of one cow that tested positive for rabies, at least 3 people were exposed and sent for testing and consultation at the nearest hospital. There is no certainty to know where the cow got exposed to the virus, but it’s not strange for wild animals (like foxes) to come to farms, especially if rabid and having the symptoms mentioned above. All it takes is a small bite mark.
Because of the unpredictability of these things, farmers and all people involved with the animals are advised to be extra cautious when handling animals that exhibit sudden changes in their behavior. If you suspect that an animal is acting differently than usual, contact your veterinarian ASAP.
Read the original article “Rabid Cow Exposes Three People To Disease in South Carolina”
Read more about rabies and World Rabies Day, which is coming soon.