Raccoon with rabies sparks warning in Copperas Cove

Animal Control officials notified the public about rabies concerns Wednesday.

A dog killed a raccoon in Copperas Cove Monday, and now Animal Control is warning about rabies.

Animal Control officials said they found the raccoon dead at 1105 W. Lincoln Avenue in Copperas Cove. After being sent to the Texas Department of Health Laboratory in Austin for testing, health officials determined the raccoon was infected with rabies.

In response, the Copperas Cove Police Department notified the public Wednesday that any person who believes they or their pet has been in contact with a raccoon or other wild animal should immediately call Animal Control and contact their doctor or veterinarian, in case of exposure. 

Rabies is most common in raccoons, bats, coyotes, foxes and skunks, according to the police department. And, symptoms in humans may include -- but are not limited to -- fever, fatigue, headaches, respiratory issues, hyperactivity, paralysis or even a coma. In pets, symptoms can include fever, chewing at the site of an infection or bite, aimless walking, restlessness, erratic behavior, sensitivity to light, irritable skin and unusual aggression, police said.

"Citizens are warned not to approach, touch or have any contact with wild animals, and to keep their pets from having contact with wild animals," Police Sgt. Martin Ruiz said in a press release. "Steps should be taken to safeguard their outside areas by covering garbage cans, not leaving pet food outside, etc."

Back in March, the city warned the public about rabies after Animal Control captured an infected skunk in a residential neighborhood in the 900 block of Park Avenue.

Copperas Cove Animal Control can be reached at 254-547-5584. The office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday and closed on Sunday. For after hours issues, call the Copperas Cove Police Department at 254-547-8222.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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