Rabies alert issued over raccoon taken into North Dakota bar

Category : Human Interest

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. exposure / ɪkˈspoʊ ʒər / (n.) – the state of being in a situation where one might be affected by something harmful

    The workers got sick after their exposure to some harmful pesticides.

  2. happy hour / ˈhæp i aʊər / (n.) – the period when a bar or restaurant sells drinks or food at a lower price or with free snacks to encourage more people to come

    All drinks are 20% off during the restaurant’s happy hour.

  3. saloon / səˈlun / (n.) – a place where alcoholic drinks are sold and served

    The group met in their favorite saloon and ordered their favorite drinks.

  4. epidemiologist / ˌɛp ɪˌdi miˈɒl ə dʒist / (n.) – an expert who studies how diseases spread and are controlled

    The university invited an epidemiologist to give a talk about different infectious diseases.

  5. rabid / ˈræb ɪd / (adj.) – affected with rabies

    Rabid dogs need to be captured because they’re very dangerous.


Read the text below.

A woman walked into a North Dakota bar carrying a raccoon, leading health officials to warn those who had contact with the animal about possible rabies exposure.

Bartender Cindy Smith said she was serving drinks at the Maddock Bar when a local resident brought in the animal during happy hour. There were about 10 people in the saloon at the time, she said.

Smith said she immediately asked the woman to leave but instead she took the raccoon around the bar to show another customer. The woman eventually departed with the animal after about five minutes.

“We finally got her out with it, and that’s all that happened,” Smith told The Bismarck Tribune. “It never left her arms one time, and there was absolutely no biting.”

Maddock is a town of about 500 people located about 85 miles (137 kilometers) from the Canadian border.

Rabies is a viral infection that affects mammals, including humans. In an alert issued on September 13, North Dakota’s Health and Human Services Department is asking anyone who may have been bitten or had contact with the raccoon’s saliva to seek medical care.

“Because rabies is such a serious disease with a nearly 100% fatality rate, we are making this information available to the public as a precautionary measure,” epidemiologist Amanda Bakken said in a statement.

Six rabid animals have been reported in North Dakota this year, including two bats, two cats, one bovine and one skunk.

Said Smith, “I had no idea what she was thinking.”

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The raccoon did not bite anyone at all, but the authorities still issued a warning. What do you think of this action (ex. good way to prevent infection, too much)? Discuss.
  • Aside from rabies, animal contact with humans has been causing other viral diseases. How do you think the risk of humans getting diseases from animals can be reduced (ex. avoid approaching wild or stray animals, capturing strays in the city)? Discuss

Discussion B

  • Why do you think the woman took the raccoon around the bar to show another customer? If you were the customer the woman had shown the raccoon to, how would you react? Why? Discuss.
  • What do you think about people who behave unusually in public, like the woman who showed up with the raccoon in the bar (ex. it’s okay, it might be dangerous)? Discuss.
Category : Human Interest