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Can rabies be contracted through contact with raccoon saliva?

Answered by
Dr. Abhijit Sonawane

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 601 Questions

Posted on Tue, 3 Nov 2015 in General Health
Question: If a rabid racoon or opossum knocks over my trash bin and tears open trash bags that have food stuffs in them, will the saliva remain on the trash? If so, for how long? Am I at a risk of becoming infected with rabies if I place the trash back in the bin? What are the precautions to take, if any?
Answered by Dr. Abhijit Sonawane 34 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Rabies will stay till it dries up. use of gloves while handling trash

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting in HCM.
Usually rabies virus will be transmitted only when it is directly deposited in blood of human. So if you have any cut marks on hand and the saliva gets in contact with the open wound then there is possibilityof rabies transmission which is quite rare.
Other thing is virus survives in saliva only until it dries up. Once the saliva is dried the virus won't survive there after.
You can protect yourself by using the disposable gloves available while you handle the trash. By this you can even protect yourself from other food borne disease transmission.
I hope i have answered your query well.
if you have any more query kindly write back to me will be happy to answer them.
Thank you
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