21 People Were Treated For Rabies Exposure After Meeting An Infected Baby Raccoon

Health officials say 21 people are being treated for rabies exposure after contact with a baby raccoon inside a northern Colorado home.

The Greeley Tribune reports a Weld County woman took in a baby raccoon that was abandoned by its mother. The raccoon later tested positive for rabies.

Rachel Freeman, the health communication supervisor of the Weld County Health Department, says health officials were alerted after the woman contacted an animal shelter to see if it would take in the animal.

Freeman says the number of people exposed was high because seeing a baby wild animal piqued people's interest. She says they're doing OK, but this case should serve as a cautionary tale.

Officials say it's illegal to possess most wildlife without the proper permits and licenses.