Many people are under the assumption that opossums carry rabies or have a natural immunity to rabies. This means that they do not become visibly ill as a result of contracting the disease. However, this would not be true since all mammals can actually become infected with rabies. The truth is that opossums rarely contract rabies because their body temperatures are too low for the infection to survive.
Any given wild animal that you encounter could be carrying rabies, which is why you want to treat close encounters with wild animals with as much caution and good judgment as possible. And of course, you will want to keep your pets as safe as possible. Household pets, such as cats and dogs, stand a pretty reasonable chance of encountering animals infected with rabies.
Should I Worry If Opossums Carry Rabies?
Luckily, you do not have to worry too much if opossums carry rabies. This is due to their body temperature regularly hovering around ninety-four degrees. As mentioned before, this temperature is actually far too low for the rabies-causing bacteria to survive. However, it should also be noted that this is only a plausible reason as to why opossums rarely contract rabies. More research on the topic needs to be conducted before scientists make any bold claims.
When it comes to dealing with opossums around your home, you will want to treat them with the same level of caution that you reserve for other forms of wild animals. You will want to ensure that your kids know to stay away from these animals, living or dead. You will also want to make sure that your pets are properly cared for and vaccinated. And, of course, you also want to remember that opossums are really big scratchers, and if they feel threatened, then they will not hesitate to use their claws. Sustaining a deep scratch or cut from an opossum could be enough to spread disease or a bacterial infection. Be safe and remember that opossums can be feisty creatures!