A man has been bitten by a rabid coyote earlier this week. The incident took place next Gervais, Oregon, and now it has been confirmed that the coyote tested positive for rabies.
According to the victim, the coyote approached him and sniffed him. However, he bit the man’s leg shortly after.
“The coyote could have come into contact with or ate a rabid animal. It was most likely a bat,” Marion County Environmental Health Program Supervisor Richard Sherman said.
The victim shot and killed the coyote, and then the animal was collected by Marion County Environmental Health and tested at the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. The victim received a series of injections soon after and he is not in danger.
These cases are a rare occurrence in Oregon
When it comes to rabid coyotes, there haven’t been many cases in the past. In fact, in Oregon there have been only three coyotes that tested positive for rabies in the past ten years.
However, bats are usually the common source of infection for rabies. In the Shaw area two bats tested positive for rabies in August. In the US, there have been only 38 human rabies cases from 1990 to 2003 and 32 were due to bats.
What is rabies?
Rabies is a dangerous disease that can affect all humans and it can be transmitted through animal bites. As a consequence of that the central nervous system is affected and the viral disease is almost always fatal. However, there is the human rabies vaccine that is very efficient.
Since sometimes it may be hard to determine whether you have encountered a rabid animal, it is recommended to discuss with a medical provider after any kind of injury from an animal or exposure to a bat.