Woman Attacked by Rabid Raccoon in Connecticut; Says It 'Meant Business'

A woman is undergoing rabies treatment after she was attacked on her porch by a rabid raccoon.

Beverly Lanouette of Enfield, Connecticut, said the animal came up from behind Monday and latched onto her leg.

"It was a huge raccoon who meant business," she told WTNH-TV. "It was very angry and growling and wouldn't let go of my leg."

She said she beat the animal with a chair to get it off of her. The animal was killed and tested positive for the rabies.

Police said it was the third raccoon attack in town but the first involving a human. Two dogs were attacked in Enfield. Two raccoon attacks on dogs were also reported in Manchester, Connecticut. Three of the dogs attacked had to be euthanized because they were not up to date on their vaccinations.

Health officials say there is not a pandemic of rabies. Instead, the warm weather has caused wild and domesticated animals to interact more.

The first strain of rabies in raccoons in Connecticut was discovered in Ridgefield in 1991, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. A year later, more than 800 cases were reported in animals statewide. But since then, the number of rabid animals discovered has gone down to about 200 to 300 annually, the DEP said.

The deadly virus, which can infect animals and humans, is transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal or by saliva getting into an eye or mouth, or into an open wound.