Resident undergoing treatment after raccoon tests positive for rabies

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jun 26, 2013 - 01:28 PM

A Gwynn’s Island resident is undergoing a series of rabies inoculations after her dog came into contact with a rabid raccoon.

Pat Duttry, environmental health supervisor for the Three Rivers Health District, said the woman’s dog "got into a tiff" with a raccoon on North Bay Haven Road and got some of the raccoon’s blood on it before chasing the wild creature up a tree.

The woman touched the dog afterward and might have gotten some fluids from the raccoon on her hands, said Duttry. Since she gets a lot of paper cuts to her fingers, the woman was concerned and wanted the raccoon tested.

When the raccoon’s tests were positive, said Duttry, the woman had to go through a series of shots. The first day, she received rabies immune globulin, which consists of eight shots that are injected in the area of any wounds, with the remaining vaccine going into a muscle.

The RIG contains antibodies to rabies and can only be used very soon after exposure, said Duttry, since later use will interfere with the body creating its own antibodies from the rabies vaccine. The woman also has to receive three more injections of the rabies vaccine.