BOSTON - With warmer temperatures calling Bostonians outside, the Public Health Commission reminds residents to steer clear of stray and wild animals that may carry rabies.
Rabies, a rare illness caused by a virus, spreads to animals or people through saliva (spit) of infected animals. This usually occurs after a bite or scratch from an animal with the disease. Any mammal can get rabies, but it is more commonly found in raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs, and cats.
It is important to never touch, feed, or take care of wild animals, stray dogs, or cats. Avoid any animal that is acting strange or sick. Do not keep wild animals as pets, touch, or pick up any dead animal. Do not attract wild animals to your house by feeding pets outside or leaving garbage cans open or litter. And, be sure that your pet is up-to date with their rabies vaccinations.
Also, be sure to prevent bats from getting into your home by covering up holes in roofs or other open areas. If you wake up with a bat in your room, be sure to seek medical care as soon as possible since bat bites are mild and often go unnoticed.
For more information about rabies, please contact the Boston Public Health Commission, Communicable Disease Control Division at 617-534-5611.