Epidemics of rabies struck fear among the population in years past. Rarely today do we hear of a case, perhaps because there is less interaction between wild and tame animals than there used to be.

It was in May of 2006 that the local newspaper last reported a confirmed case. It was detected in a skunk in south Logan County. Skunks and foxes have seemed to be the more frequent carriers, while dogs and livestock encounter them and are bitten the most.

In 1948, R. H. Morris of Lewisburg lost livestock, and six Hereford cattle were killed in another herd in 1954. Kentucky recorded the second highest number of cases of rabies in the United States in 1953--1162 cases.

Some of you readers will remember a most horrible tragedy that happened here in 1953. Miss Ora Duncan, who lived in the Gupton Grove community near the Butler County line, was bitten and mauled by a rabid mule, leading to her death.

On Sunday night, August 23, she had been to church. After coming home and going to bed, she heard a disturbance at the barn and went to investigate. There she was attached by the mule.

Neighbors who lived approximately one-fourth mile away heard her screams and summoned help from Lewisburg. They got her to the Logan County Hospital about 1:00 a.m.; she had remained conscious. Her right hand and right leg had to be amputated, and her body was badly damaged from the mule’s chewing.

Dr. J. P. Glenn was the attending physician. He related that he had served as a surgeon through World War II, but he had never seen a more horrible thing. He admitted that he prayed that someone else would take the case, but that did not happen.

Miss Duncan made a gallant fight for six days but died early Saturday morning, August 29. She was age 53.

Reports of rabid animals throughout Logan County continued to pile up, and mobile vaccination clinics for dogs were immediately scheduled in an effort to combat the epidemic.

Following are a few more notes selected from newspaper records:

January 1954 —Orville Hinchee kills a rabid fox; an outbreak is feared.

February 1958 — A woman is bitten by a fox; fifth recent incident.

December 1964 — Several dogs infected in south Logan County.

January 1971 — Two persons bitten by fox in Todd County.

March 1993 — Rabid skunk captured, Nashville Road.

May 2006 — Rabies confirmed in skunk, south Logan County.

May we continue to pray for a satisfactory resolution that will control or rid us of the newest attacking virus, COVID-19.