This means that they don't carry a whole lot of the standard zoonotic diseases that other animals might carry. While no wild animal is entirely immune to rabies and a few cases of opossums with it have been documented, finding one with the disease is extremely rare. Opossums are omnivores who prefer to set up camp near readily available food sources. However, in a rare case, opossum’s may carry rabies. Although theoretically any mammal can contract the rabies virus, opossums seem somehow immune to it. They can do damage to homes and can even injure pets and, if very ill or scared, injure you or your loved ones. While opossums rarely carry rabies, they do carry many other diseases and can, when cornered, become aggressive. What Do Opossums Like to Eat? No, most of the opossum species do not carry rabies. THEY ALMOST NEVER GET RABIES. It is because of their low body temperature which is around 34.4°C to 36.1°C that prevents Rabies virus to survive in an opossum’s body. Admittedly, opossums do carry fleas (as do all wild and some domestic animals). The best thing for the opossum is to be left in it's own territory where it can find food and knows where there is a safe shelter. According to the Opossum Society website, this is thought to be due to the opossum’s low body temperature, an inhospitable environment for rabies. Don’t try and catch them or remove … While possums aren’t totally immune to rabies (a few cases have been documented), finding a specimen with the disease is extremely unlikely. Opossums don't really get rabies. Like all mammals, opossums can carry rabies, but scientists have found that opossums have a lower-than-average risk of carrying this disease. Rabies is extremely rare in opossums, as their body temperature is too low for the virus to thrive. It's not really ever documented in the North American Virginia Opossum (the only possum that lives in the USA). The opossum is not dangerous to you or your pets if left alone. While any warm blooded mammal can carry rabies, it is highly unlikely that a opossum will. In a study from the CDC, possums are the most frequently reported animal species with rabies in the US, specifically the Eastern and Southern Eastern parts of the country. Dealing With An Opossum When it comes to dealing with an opossum that is becoming a problem, the best option is to trap the animal and either to kill it humanely or to relocate it if your state's rules allow such relocation. This contrasts starkly with many similarly-sized animals that have carnivorous or omnivorous diets, such as skunks, foxes and raccoons, which are important rabies reservoirs. Marsupials like opossums have a lower temperature compared to other types of mammals in North America, making their bodies a less suitable environment for the rabies virus. 8. Although an opossum might get rabies, it's very unlikely. Opossums have a spectacular immune system, and a lower than average body temperature. Although it happens on very rare occasions, opossums do not typically carry the rabies virus. Example? Opossums can, however, carry other diseases like tularemia, tuberculosis, spotted fever and toxoplasmosis. Indeed, this lower blood temperature is said to be a part of the animal's protection from snake bites and even rabies, which struggle to take hold in the animal's body. Small rodents and other wild animals Small rodents like squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, and mice) and lagomorphs including rabbits and hares are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have not been known to transmit rabies to humans. If you think you've been exposed to possum rabies, this means that you've either been bit and scratched or spat on by a possum. Opossums are more resistant to rabies than any other mammal; cattle, goats, dogs, cats, sheep, and the ice cream man are far more susceptible to rabies! 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