New York State just so happens to lead the nation in rabies, this tidbit of important information comes directly from the NYS Department of Health. Surprised? I was. Where are these cases? Why does New York have so many of them?

Is there something you should know? Like signs that an animal might be rabid? What should you do when you suspect an animal is affected? Is the answer as simple as just staying indoors forever?

What is Rabies and which animals can get it in New York State?

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Photo by CDC on Unsplash
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What is rabies? It is a viral disease that can cause death, transmitted through animal bites. Which animals can get rabies? While rabies is mostly found in raccoons, bats, and skunks, any mammal (including your pets) can contract rabies.

What are the first recognizable signs of rabies in an animal?

Photo by Nils Bouillard on Unsplash
Photo by Nils Bouillard on Unsplash
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Believe it or not, any random change in behavior could be considered 'the first sign.' An animal can become suddenly aggressive or aggressive animals can be suddenly tame or even find themselves lame.

How can people (or animals) get exposed to rabies or contract it?

Photo by Bryan Padron on Unsplash
Photo by Bryan Padron on Unsplash
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The way that people or animals can get rabies is through a bite from another animal. If you have an open wound, you can also get rabies through contact with their saliva. If you are bitten by an animal that you might think is rabid, immediately wash the area with soap and water, then seek medical attention. If there is any way that you can 'corral' the animal so it can be tested, that would be great, however, it is very unlikely that you can do that and maintain your own safety.

Think that you have spotted an animal in New York State that is rabid?

Getty Images
Getty Images
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While the cute furry animal above, doesn't look like they have been affected with anything but a major case of cuteness, if you suspect anything, stay away from the animal, and contact your county's health department immediately.

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Sources:

https://cannabis.ny.gov/cannabis-conversations-0

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/cbd-thc-difference