Tree squirrels may be rabies carriers as well, although none have tested positive for the virus in Oregon to yet. Squirrel bites are the most common sort of animal bite reported to ODFW, and nearly every reported bite can be tracked back to the offending squirrel's meal. If you find a dead rodent on your property, it's important not to touch it until you've called a hazardous materials cleanup team to dispose of it properly.
If you're bitten by an animal that's suspected of carrying rabies, immediately call your doctor or health care provider. Tell them about the bite/scratch and ask them what you should do next. You will need to seek medical treatment within days if the animal was infected with rabies; if not, then there is no need to rush into action. It's important to remember that animals can spread rabies even if they aren't sick themselves; thus, any animal that has recently been in contact with a human or another animal who is infected with rabies needs to be reported to local authorities immediately.
The first symptom people often report seeing is something like a white spot in the eye. But this is actually just a reflection from the eye lining called the cornea which gets scratched when the animal moves its head quickly away from its body. Once exposed to sunlight or light from a lamp, this spot usually goes away within two weeks.
While they can get the disease, no raccoons have tested positive for rabies in Oregon in the last 50 years. Canine distemper may and can infect raccoons, causing neurologic symptoms similar to rabies. Cases of Rabies in Oregon (2019) A bat bitten a person in the Breitenbush region, east of Salem. The person developed symptoms of anxiety and depression related to their injury and was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. They did not receive post-exposure treatment because their blood tests were negative for other infections.
Raccoons are often blamed for the transmission of rabies when in fact they are only transmitting the virus through saliva when they bite or scratch someone. Bites from infected raccoons cannot be cured by vaccines because there is no cure for rabies. If you find a sick or injured raccoon, call your local wildlife agency at once before going any further so that they can take care of the animal and avoid spreading the infection.
People can be infected with rabies too. In fact, this usually happens when an animal bites them while they're sleeping. Also, if a dog dies of this disease then its body must be put down because there is nothing else that can be done about it. Because of this, people rarely get rabies in America.
The best way to prevent getting rabies is by not being around wild animals.
Terrestrial rabies is not present in the Pacific Northwest. Bats are the primary rabies reservoir in Oregon. Mammals such as foxes and cats may come into touch with rabid bats, contract the virus, and transfer it to people. Since 2000, 9 percent of bats tested positive for rabies in Oregon. The presence of rabies in bats should alert people to take precautions if they find a dead animal because this organism can't be diagnosed visually or by smell. The best course of action is to call a veterinarian.
Diseases Spreaded by SquirrelsSome of the most prevalent ones are tularemia, typhus, plague, and ringworm. These illnesses are spread by bites or other types of direct contact with sick squirrels. Tularemia, typhus, and plague exhibit symptoms similar to the flu and can be fatal if not treated. Ringworm causes a rash and is usually not serious but can be difficult to treat.
Other viruses that may be found in squirrels include rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and hepatitis A and B. Most of these will also be present in other animals such as dogs and cats, so it is important to know what type of environment you have before bringing a squirrel into your home. For example, if there are other small animals at risk of contracting one of these diseases, it would be best not to keep squirrels as pets.
Squirrels are also carriers of Ectoparasites. These are parasites that live on the outside of their hosts' bodies including insects and arachnids. Some species of squirrels such as eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) are infected with ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks. When these parasites jump from host to host they can pass along different infections between each other. Fleas have been known to transmit tapeworms and heartworms!
Finally, squirrels can be carriers of bacteria.