A cow on a dairy farm in Ellington that officials confirmed
was infected with rabies last month has been euthanized.
State Department of Agriculture spokesman George Krivda said
the single cow was put down on Sept. 26 after state officials confirmed the
animal had tested positive for the disease earlier last month.
Officials believe the rabies was transmitted
after a small wild animal — likely a bat, a raccoon or a fox — bit the cow. The cow had
begun to exhibit odd behavior and the initial veterinarian examination
determined it was suffering from a neurological problem, Krivda said.
He said the animal likely had the rabies in its system for some time, because it would take a while for the disease to spread.
"What happens is the brain gets infected
and depending on where the animal is bitten it affects the length of the time of
the transmission," Krivda said.
Other cows have been exposed to the cow that was infected, however Krivda said all of the animals have been quarantined
and that they are being watched and tested.
As for the milk, Krivda said any traces of rabies would have
been destroyed through the pasteurization process, as all of the cow milk is
collected and boiled to destroy organisms. Despite this, he also noted that
there is no evidence for or against rabies being transmitted in milk.
“There’s no danger to the food supply and no danger to the
general public,” Krivda said.