Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Squirrels and Rabies
Name: Joy S.
Status: educator
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Thursday, November 28, 2002


Question:
Can humans get rabies from a squirrel bite? I overhead a conversation in which a teacher stated that squirrels do NOT transmit rabies to humans because the squirrels have an unusual dentation that keeps the saliva which transmits the rabies in the back of the mouth of the squirrel, therefore the saliva carrying the rabies virus would not enter the puncture wound the squirrel made with the bite. I this right?


Replies:
Joy,

I would not count on that assertion. Rabies can be carried and transmitted by any mammal. For a little information on the squirrel issue, try this link to the CDC. Do a Goggle search on "rabies" as well.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/Ques&Ans/q&a.htm#What animals get rabies

Regards,
ProfHoff 534


No. Squirrels are not a primary threat of transfer of rabies, raccoons and skunks are the most common carriers, but any mammal can carry rabies, squirrels can and will bite people, so there is a danger, even if perhaps smaller than with other animals.

J. Elliott



Click here to return to the General Topics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory