Evolving Rabies Virus Jumping Species in Northern Arizona

Categories: News
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Keep your pets close to home, because there's a new strain of rabies in Arizona -- and it's spreading.

Known as "Big Brown Bat," the virus appears to have mutated and is jumping species. Skunks and foxes are getting it -- without having had any contact with bats.

"Usually it'll dead end in the other animal," says Carol Chambers, a professor of wildlife ecology at Northern Arizona University. "In this case it didn't -- it has evolved into a strain that can persist in animals and be transfered from skunk to skunk."

The scariest part of the virus? Animals don't need to be bit to get it. It's appears to be spread socially.

Still, it doesn't look like we're going to be seeing an overwhelming epidemic anytime soon. According to Chambers, rabies has always been a pretty rare disease, and less than 1 percent of bats in Northern Arizona are infected. And she doesn't think there's any chance it'll spread socially to humans.

But she is worried about the safety of bats. Sometimes people get scared by rabies and start killing them off, she says.

"We're very concerned about people misunderstanding bats and doing retribution killings," she says. "Bats do a lot of good things, too."

Still, it might be a good idea to keep Fido indoors for a while.



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14 comments
popo
popo

Spongebob Squarepants Squidward

scoobydoo
scoobydoo

Shruthop loves Jules Shilplaa loves Shruthaisri Jules loves hambuga Coke. I like big butts and i cannot lie u otha brothas can't deny.

jules<3chris
jules<3chris

im 12, your so sensitive chris id love to meet up with you, do you want my address

Chris<3Jules
Chris<3Jules

Jules you so pretty how old are you? wanna meet up>? Im 18

mattd
mattd

eye like scooby doo

TeBonezzz
TeBonezzz

What you say you little dick!!!!

TeBonezs
TeBonezs

Wow thats so exicting im doing a project so please help me i still dont get the symtpoms and what it actually looks like in humans

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