Animal rabies found near Vermont's largest city

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont officials say four rabid raccoons were found and trapped in Chittenden County in the last 10 days.

The raccoons were trapped in Burlington and South Burlington.

Rabies is spread through bites or saliva. Vaccines can be given after exposure to prevent illness, but once the symptoms appear, it is almost always fatal. No human cases of rabies have been reported in Vermont since the first case was recorded in 1963.

State public health veterinarian Robert Johnson says this serves as a reminder to vaccinate pets and not to attract wild animals with food, compost, bird seed or exposed trash.

Health officials are telling Vermonters to avoid contact with wild animals. If residents see an animal acting strangely, they are asked to call the Vermont Rabies Hotline: 1-800-4-RABIES.

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