Worms and Germs Blog

Otter attack update

A dead otter was found floating in a pond in Florida near the site of a recent otter attack that was captured on video. Testing confirmed that the animal was rabid. It's impossible to determine whether this is the same otter that attacked the teenager in Boca Raton last week, but it's likely, and shows that rabies post-exposure treatment of the victim was a good decision.

Numerous rabid otters have been identified in Florida in recent years. I haven't seen any information about the viral types that have been involved or how it is thought that otters are becoming infected. Regardless, these incidents should be a reminder to stay away from wildlife, and to consider rabies exposure any time someone has been bitten by a wild mammal.

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Published by University of Guelph Centre for Public Health & Zoonoses Ontario Veterinary College
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, N1G2W1, Canada.