OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A dead kitten and the instincts of a local veterinarian sparked a multi-agency effort to stop the spread of a new rabies variant.
“That local veterinarian chose to test that animal due to its neurological symptoms it was experiencing,” said Chad Wetzel, Douglas County Epidemiologist.
And it tested positive for a raccoon variant of rabies rarely found anywhere west of the Appalachian Region.
“Rabies is nearly always fatal, so we are taking all of the proper steps to make sure it doesn’t spread or get established here in Douglas County,” said Dr. Lindsay Huse, Douglas County Health Director.
According to the Nebraska Humane Society, there are an estimated 40,000 raccoons within the county, and the spread of this variant is concerning.
“These raccoons may interact more frequently with domestic animals,” said Huse.
Officials are also urging people to call the Humane Society if they notice any animals acting unusual. That includes aggressive behavior, being overly fearful, or excessive drooling …