Florida always manages to grab eyeballs with its unique fauna that often spills over to the part of human life and a recent incident of similar nature was reported last day.
An otter infested with rabies bit a septuagenarian while he was by the side of a water body. Joseph Scaliogne, a 72-year-old native was just beside his residence feeding ducks when an otter swam up to him. However, when he decided to reach his home without turning his back on the animal, he tripped and fell which made the situation worse.
Florida Man Gets Bitten By Rabies-infested Otter While Feeding Ducks
According to Scaliogne, the otter ran towards him and started attacking him viciously. It not only scratched him but also bit him on his arms and legs. The hospital administration reports that Mr. Scaliogne had over 40 bruises on his body.
When Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control animal reached the location, the otter was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, they arranged for the human victim to go to the hospital as soon as possible. He has since been released after proper medical attention.
After hours of search, they spotted the otter near the garbage can and captured it. However, it did seem extremely agile for an otter which raised suspicions among the authorities. The officials said, “The animal was showing signs that were abnormal (and)… was hyperactive and then down in the transfer carrier, it bared teeth and was biting the metal.”
Officials then euthanized the animal and sent its brain for testing which revealed that it was infected by rabies.
While the human victim was being treated, the Palm Beach county officials came to know that the otter had also bitten a dog before finally succumbing to their efforts. The dog is over 70 pounds and was attacked when it was going for a walk near the pond.
Though the bites are comparatively lesser than the human victim, the owner took it to the vet who gave it injections and suggested a 45-day quarantine period to be safe. Animal Control and Care believes that the otter might have been bitten by a raccoon, a cat, or a bat which are the primary carriers of the disease.
Rabies is a lethal disease to humans and can even cause death. It usually spreads when the saliva of the rabid animal comes in contact with a healthy person. More often than not rabid animals are hysteric and therefore have a higher chance of biting someone without provocation.
After someone is attacked, they could show symptoms after 45-50 days which is why usually this disease goes unnoticed. Apart from developing extreme hydrophobia, the affected is also subjected to spasms and hallucinations. Since the virus ultimately travels to the brain and spinal cord, the rabid animal/human is sure to die. The authorities have suggested the public to approach the hospital should they suspect being bitten by a sick animal.
When asked if there is a matter to be concerned about, an official said, “For Palm Beach County, we have not seen a confirmed positive rabies in an otter since 2010, We’ve seen it in other animals, but we’re in a low period right now to where actually our most recent rabies case besides this one was almost two years ago.”
However, Palm Beach County has released a list of instructions for the public to follow including-
*Don’t allow pets to be in contact with wild animals.
* Children should be warned against foraying into the wild or bringing wild pets home.
* Pets are to be vaccinated regularly and should be checked for any unusual bites or scratches.
* Contact health care immediately if bitten.
* Do not allow bats to enter your residence.
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