Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rabid bobcat bites S.C. man

June 26, 2007 05:36 PM EDT

SALUDA COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A bobcat in Saluda County was tested and confirmed to have rabies.

The animal is now dead, but the bobcat bit a man before he died. The man is being treated to keep him from getting the fatal disease.

Rabies is a disease that causes inflammation of the brain. If people get rabies, it's usually fatal unless they immediately get a vaccination.

Infected bats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, dogs or cats provide the greatest risk to humans. Squirrels, rodents and rabbits are seldom infected.

The first step after being bitten by a rabid animal is to quickly wash the wound with soap and water to reduce the number of viral particles. Then the patient will need a rabies vaccine over a 28-day period.

Early symptoms of rabies in humans consist of fever, headache, and general malaise. As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear.

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