In this startling footage, a rabid coyote is seen pacing and baring its teeth right outside the videographer’s doorstep.
The rabies virus can be transmitted to humans by other animals and can be found on every continent, except for Antarctica. Rabies can spread through saliva – like through a bite – or even through brain tissue. Once inside the host, rabies travels through the nervous system, eventually making its way to the brain. The resulting brain swelling is what eventually causes death in its victims.
Certain species of animals act as “viral reservoirs,” where the disease is always active. In the United States, these species include raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes like the one in the video. These animals make up the majority of rabies cases in the United States but humans typically contract rabies from dogs.
This is probably because dogs act as a go-between between wild animals and humans. Once they’re infected, domesticated dogs come into contact with far more people than wild animals do.
Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to tell if an animal has rabies. You really just have to trust your gut if you think an animal is acting strangely. This can be anything from animals acting overly aggressive to acting overly timid. You might also notice what looks like foaming at the mouth – that’s really just an overproduction of saliva creating drool.
The only way to know for sure if an animal has rabies is lab testing – so it’s best to just trust your gut and keep your distance.
Fortunately, rabies in humans is incredibly rare. However, if a human is infected, some of the first symptoms include similarities to the flu: aches, general weakness, a fever, and headaches. As the disease progresses, symptoms become far more severe. These later-stage symptoms can include agitation, confusion, and hallucinations.
Watch footage of another rabid coyote in the video below: