Despite Popular Belief, Which Of These Animals Rarely Carries Rabies?
Rabies is a serious viral disease and it certainly pays to avoid exposure to potentially infected animals. But worry can be misplaced and one animal that people will go out of their way to avoid because of the widespread belief that they are common rabies carriers doesn’t deserve the bad rap: the poor opossum.
Opossums can be bitten by a rabies carrier just like the rest of us, but they have an advantage humans don’t: their body temperature is so low that the virus can’t survive and replicate well at all. Simply put, they are extremely unlikely to carry the disease.
So why the widespread belief that opossums are rabies carriers? Opossums will often salivate heavily when scared, much like animals in the later stages of rabies, which gives the appearance of a rabies infection when none is actually present.
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