Do all raccoons carry rabies? Not all of them. You can often find these North American critters rummaging through bags of trash they have ripped open to find an omnivorous feast and live in or around any forested area. With a masked face and dexterous paws the raccoon is well known for being rather intelligent creatures. Sometimes you can scare them off, but should you get near them? The answer in every case is “no”.
Rabies is a disease that is contagious that affects the central nervous systems of mammals. Pets and humans are all vulnerable. A raccoon doesn’t have to look like it has rabies to be infected. If you see a raccoon, stay away from it. Even if it is not sick, it’s still a wild animal that could be carrying other agents or try to attack you. Rabies cause animals to drool, so stay away from any animal that is foaming at the mouth. Rabies can also cause strange behavior in animals. Keep your distance from any raccoon that seems overly friendly or untroubled by your presence, or is weaving and bumping into things.
Rabies is transmitted through saliva, so don’t let any animal get within biting distance and don’t touch them. Over 45% of rabies cases diagnosed annually are contracted from raccoons. They may look cute, but if you see a raccoon, you should always assume that has the potential to infect you and stay back. If you do get bitten, wash where you are bitten with soap and water and go to the hospital or your doctor. Untreated rabies is deadly. Raccoons, skunks, bats, coyotes, foxes and any warm-blooded mammal can carry Rabies. Remember, not all raccoons have rabies, but a good portion of them do. Raccoon rabies make up 35% of all animal rabies cases. If you see a raccoon in the daytime, the best thing to do is keep your pets and yourself away and either wait until it goes away or call Animal Control if you see any signs of it acting strangely.