A 70-year-old woman from Massachusetts was attacked by a huge raccoon, leaving her shocked and wounded. Unfortunately, the police did not find the raccoon and so are unable to test whether it is positive for rabies or not. Raccoon is among the top four wild animals that carry the virus and may infect humans.
Massachusetts Woman Hanging Christmas Lights Attacked by a Raccoon
Donna Sanginario, 70, told Boston 25 that she was only putting up some Christmas lights on December 1 at her house when suddenly a huge raccoon weighing approximately 45 pounds jumped at her face and started attacking her.
She narrated that she had just come out of her house with a coat on to put those tiny lights on the bushes when she heard a growling noise, which she initially thought was from a passing car. But the raccoon jumped at her and she immediately used her arm to cover her head.
She was screaming but none of her neighbors heard her until she tried tossing the animal into the air but only managed to throw him off when she was already on the ground. She shared some photos of her arm with marks up and down and her blood-stained Patriots sweatshirt.
Sanginario is now recuperating from her injuries and had two rabies shots and will be needing two more in the coming days. Now, her big concern is finding the raccoon that the police were not able to find. She hopes that this does not happen to anyone and people become more aware.
What You Need to Know About Rabies
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies is a fatal viral disease that can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by an animal with the virus. In the US, the most rabid animals are bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes, although dogs and rabbits may also carry rabies that may kill people.
Around 92.7% of rabies cases in 2018 are from wild animals, wherein bats (33%) topped the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species. It is followed by raccoons with 30.8%, then skunks with 20.3%, and foxes with 7.2%.
The virus can adapt to its reservoir host and different variants of the rabies virus are existing in the US. Between 2013-2017, rabid bats were found in all the states in the US except for Hawaii. Meanwhile, skunk variants were found in California, the Midwest, Texas, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Raccoon variants are found in the southern and eastern states, while the fox variants were recorded in Alaska, Arizona, and New Mexico.