Montana Epidemiologist Reminds Public to be Cautious of Rabid Animals This Summer
Spring and summer time in Montana is the best time to get out and explore what Big Sky Country has to offer. With that in mind, Epidemiologist Dana Fejes has a reminder for the public to be on the lookout for rabid wildlife.
"Most of the rabid animals that are being submitted for testing here in Montana we get in the spring and summer months," Fejes said. "In 2015, there was actually a positive skunk in Missoula, which is relatively uncommon. Usually we see those more in the eastern part of the state. But we do see bats all across Montana and those can be rabid. We have seen a few of those in Missoula County as well."
Fejes said the best way to catch rabies early is to notice symptoms.
"So rabies is almost always fatal. Only very, very few people have ever survived," Fejes said. "Our best chance at avoiding rabies, the main thing is prevention. Don't touch any wild animals. Vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets. Stay away from any wild animals so you don't get exposed to rabies to begin with."
Fejes said to contact your health provider if you or your child has any contact with a bat or find a bat in your home, or are bitten or scratched by any wild or stray animal.