Raccoon, fox suspected of rabies in Bristol

BRISTOL — Town officials in Bristol are urging residents to be on the lookout for possible rabid animals. In October, there have been two reported incidents of wild animals with rabies, Town Administrator Bill Bryant said in a statement.
In the first incident, on Oct. 3, a rabid raccoon bit a man through the boot near Hardscrabble Road. The second incident, on Oct. 21, involved a “dying but apparently rabid fox on Mountain Street,” Bryant said.
Both animals were killed, but Bryant said the town urges residents to keep an eye out for wild animals acting strangely.
“It is a good idea to make sure your own pets, be they dogs or cats, have up-to-date rabies vaccinations, and also keep them close to home,” Bryant said.
Residents are encouraged to report suspicious animals to the town office at 453-2410, or to the Bristol Police Department at 453-2533. Bryant also urged parents to educate their children to stay away from any animals acting strangely.
They can also report sightings of sick animals to the USDA’S Vermont Rabies Hotline, toll-free at 1-800-472-2437 (1-800-4-RABIES).
If an animal bites you, health officials urge you to wash the wound immediately and call a doctor.
Rare non-bite exposures can occur if wet, infectious saliva or nerve tissue comes in contact with a person in a fresh open wound or the eyes, nose or mouth. Rabies virus is not found in blood, urine, feces or skunk spray.
People are advised to avoid any animal that exhibits strange behavior. Don’t try and trap or capture the animal yourself. 

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