Wyoming Woman Becomes State’s First Rabies Death

state's first rabies death
Digital visualization of the rabies virus. A Wyoming woman died after exposure to the disease. Image by Horoscope/Shutterstock

CASPER , Wyo., Oct. 7 (UPI) — A Wyoming woman believed to have been exposed to a rabid bat has died of the virus-borne disease, state health officials announced Wednesday.

“While rabies is often found in Wyoming animals such as bats and skunks, this is the first confirmed human rabies case ever recorded in our state,” said Dr. Karl Musgrave, the Wyoming Department of Health public health veterinarian, last week. “Across the United States, there are usually only one or two human cases in a year.”

The unidentified woman, a resident of Fremont County, Wyo., was exposed to rabies— typically transmitted through a bite from a rabid animal — and developed the illness about one month later.

WDH spokeswoman Kim Deti said the victim was treated in several local hospitals throughout the course of her illness, and that the agency is working with her family members in Utah to determine who may have been exposed to the disease.

Wyoming health officials and animal control officers were urging the public to keep a safe distance from stray and wild animals, and to vaccinate their pets.


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