Oct 31, 2021
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Rabid hedgehogs attack

Rabid hedgehogs attack

Thousands of Russians have suffered from attacks by foxes, martens, dogs, squirrels, hedgehogs and cats this summer.

An abnormally hot summer in Russia has led to outbreaks of rabies and fatalities in many regions. Relatively calm only in the suburbs, where veterinarians introduced a wonderful practice: oral rabies vaccines began to be scattered in large quantities over forests from helicopters and small aircraft. Such “carpet bombing” with drugs is yielding results – in the region, the number of cases of rabies has decreased four times.


Rabies has no seasonality. You can get sick at any time of the year. But the heat increases the aggression of the infected animals. The higher the air temperature, the more often they bite. This means that a dangerous virus is spreading faster.

The attack of rabid hedgehogs took place in the Ryazan region. The local department of Rospotrebnadzor reports: as of July 7, 1,603 bitten victims have turned to doctors, of which 391 are children. There are 12 confirmed cases of animal rabies. Fortunately, all those bitten were injected with the rabies vaccine in time.

Not only bites are dangerous, but also scratches and even the ingress of saliva on human skin. The virus is in the saliva.

Animals have bitten adults as well, but there are especially many kids who decided to play with the “cute hedgehog” who himself came out of the bushes to them.

Remember: wild animals should normally be afraid of humans and avoid contact, but people with rabies tend to lose this fear. There should be no good foxes, squirrels and hedgehogs.

Doctors from other regions also speak about the danger of hedgehogs.

– No need to feed the hedgehogs, – the chief veterinarian of the Volgograd region Alla Alikova gave advice to the population at a recent briefing. – From the same bowl from which you gave the forest guest milk, your cat can then eat. Infection is guaranteed. By the way, the veterinary committee receives many questions about the domestication of wild animals, including hedgehogs. I can say one thing: we have already had several cases of rabies in these animals.

Several cases were also noted when foxes came out and themselves began to fondle a person. At some point, the “affectionate” animal dodges and bites or scratches. This friendly behavior of the fox is a characteristic sign of rabies.


Since the beginning of this year, 47 cases of rabies have been recorded in the Volgograd region, in 37 of them quarantine has already been lifted. In the Bykovsky district and in the city of Mikhailovka, two were bitten by rabid martens. In one case, even a horse went berserk.

Any warm-blooded creature can become infected with a dangerous virus. In May, the entire city of Kamyshin, the third largest in the region, was quarantined for rabies.

Now in the Volgograd region one person is being treated for rabies, and two have already died. Pensioners living in regional farms have suffered. One of them was bitten by a domestic dog, the other was scratched by a domestic cat. Both women, hoping that the animals were pets, did not get vaccinated. But the farmsteads in the villages are often visited by guests from the forest, and while the owners of the domestic animals do not see, they “communicate” with them and infect them.

And in December last year in Volgograd, a 9-year-old girl died of rabies in a hospital. She is from the Pallasovsky district of the region; back in August 2020, a mongrel tapped her on the finger. Parents did not pay attention to the episode: – just think, a scratch! When it got worse, the child was taken to the Pallas Central Regional Hospital. There, a girl, who had already begun to show hydrophobia and all the symptoms of rabies, bit two doctors who tried to examine her. The child was urgently taken to Volgograd. The terrible diagnosis was confirmed. But, alas, it was no longer possible to help the girl …

The mortality rate from rabies, when the manifestations of the disease are already underway, is 100%. There is no cure. The only thing that doctors can do in this case is to put the patient into a drug-induced sleep so that he dies without suffering.


According to Rospotrebnadzor, most of all this year cases of animal disease with rabies were recorded in Tyumen, Saratov, Penza, Nizhny Novgorod regions. Samara, Chelyabinsk, Ivanovskaya, Volgograd, Smolensk, Astrakhan regions, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Khakassia and Altai also add to the list of such regions.

In the Tyumen region, already in half of the districts at different times this year they managed to introduce quarantine for rabies. Not only cats and dogs are sick in the region, but also cows and horses. Moreover, lynxes and arctic foxes come out of the forest to settlements. In the middle of summer, there were 25 settlements in 11 municipalities in the quarantine zone in the south of Western Siberia.

Olga Poplavskaya.


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