You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Be cautious around wild animals

As we end the school year, begin summer vacations and spend more time outdoors, the Champaign Health District staff members would like to remind you to be extra cautious around stray animals and wild animals. It’s not normal for wild animals to approach people or for nocturnal animals (bats especially) to be out during the day. Often if you see a wild animal during the day it’s sick, so don’t approach or try to help the animal.

Although Champaign County hasn’t had any animals test positive for the rabies virus this year, several of the counties around the state have. Rabies is a serious disease that kills more than 50,000 people and animals every year around the world. Any mammal can get rabies. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, along with dogs, cats and bats.

Rabies is transmitted to people by the saliva of an infected animal; you can’t get rabies from the blood of an animal. Animals with rabies may act differently from healthy animals. Wild animals may move slowly or may act as if they are tame. A pet that is usually friendly may snap at you or may try to bite.

Some signs of rabies in animals are: changes in an animal’s behavior, general sickness, problems swallowing, increased drooling or aggression.

Some precautions to take to protect yourselves from the ever-present threat of rabies exposure:

• Don’t feed, touch or adopt wild animals and be cautious around stray cats and dogs.

• Teach children to leave wildlife alone and be sure that your child knows to tell you if an animal bites or scratches them.

• Have your pet cats, dogs and ferrets vaccinated for rabies and keep their vaccinations current.

• Keep trash can lids secure. Open containers can attract wildlife.

• Report any bite incidents to your local health department and call your doctor for medical advice.

The Champaign Health District investigated 70 animal bite/human exposure cases in 2011, 80 in 2012 and 29 so far this year.

Most of those bites were from dogs, with 51 cases in 2011, 59 in 2012 and 23 so far this year.

For more information please visit the health district’s website or go to

Brad King is the Champaign County health commissioner.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Health

New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity

Violet Mosse-Brown of Jamaica is officially the oldest living person in the world, at 117 years of age. Mosse-Brown earned the title after the death of Emma Morano of Italy, who died earlier this week at 117 years, 137 days old. Mosse-Brown has a simple secret to her longevity. “Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live...
Police officer helps boy tie necktie in heartwarming viral photo
Police officer helps boy tie necktie in heartwarming viral photo

A police officer is going viral after teaching a boy how to tie a tie when he was “too embarrassed” to ask for help. X’zavier was at the Indiana Statehouse recently to receive the “Youth of the Year” award from his local Boys and Girls Club, according to Inside Edition. X’zavier was escorted to the ceremony...
Spring cleaning your computer

As you’re doing spring cleaning around the home, don’t forget about your computer! It needs taken care of, too. Here are a few things you should consider doing to keep your computer in tip-top shape: Run a malware scanner to remove junk: Along with having an anti-virus installed, consider a secondary anti-malware program. They can catch...
D.L. STEWART: Enjoying Major League Baseball by the numbers

In the latest example of fascinating Major League Baseball statistics, studies show that a 29-year-old centerfielder saves an average of four fewer runs per season than a 28-year-old centerfielder, The New York Times reported this week. While you may wonder why a prestigious newspaper would use valuable space to report stuff like that, baseball fans...
Study: Diet drinks can lead to stroke, dementia
Study: Diet drinks can lead to stroke, dementia

Diet sodas — one of America's favorite caffeine-delivery systems — appears to be just as unhealthy as their sugary cousins The Washington Post reports that a new study refutes the theory that diet drinks are a better option than those made with sugar or corn syrup. The new study in the journal Stroke says people who drink diet soda...
More Stories