At the risk of looking like a nut, I just sent the following e-mail to Dade County’s crime lab:
I wrote a blog post last week when the Rudy Eugene story was at the height of global attention about the similarity between Eugene’s behavior and that of rabid animals. That post drew an unusually high number of readers (for my blog, anyway), most looking for information about whether or not Eugene’s attack on Ronald Poppo was a case of rabies. Judging from the amount of interest in this blog post, I presume you’ve also been asked this question: Is rabies one of the items being checked for in the toxicology tests being performed on Eugene?
In my blog post I cite a story from the Sun Sentinel on the rapid rise of rabies cases in Palm Beach County this year. I don’t expect you to answer this question, but I am wondering if there has been a similar increase in rabies cases in Dade County. My real question is, is any part of the investigation looking into whether or not Eugene had been bitten or at least was ever in a position in the last month or two to be exposed to the virus?
I know the last thing you probably need is yet another armchair sleuth breathing down your neck. I would probably not have written with these questions if I hadn’t received a comment this morning from a veterinarian technician who wrote:“As a veterinary technician, i thought rabies when reading the story too. One of the effects of the disease is paralyisis of the throat which could explain why Eugene ‘growled’ at police when asked to stop. This needs to be seriously looked into. If it is a case of rabies the victim and the health care workers looking after him may need to recieve vaccines.”
In particular, I’m wondering if the Miami PD has taken steps to protect investigators (not to mention Mr. Poppo and his care-takers) who came into contact with Eugene’s blood or saliva.
If you can’t respond to any of these questions, I understand, I’m low priority. But I do hope all of these matters are being looked into.
I’ll keep you posted on the response, if I get any.