A group of teenagers got more than they bargained for when they reportedly sexually assaulted a donkey and contracted rabies from the infected animal.
The 15 infected teenagers landed in the hospital, where they stayed for a week while receiving treatment, reports Morocco World News.
Though the bizarre occurrence has become something of a laughing matter in the town, it has reportedly been a nightmare for local parents worried that their children might also have had sex with the donkey or might do so in the future. According to the media outlet, a number of these parents have been taking their children to be vaccinated for rabies in secret, far away from the town, out of fear that somebody will see them and connect it to the donkey story.
As such, the number of people who have sexually assaulted the donkey and been put at risk for rabies could be much higher than the 15 reported cases.
Meanwhile, officials have been spreading the word in an attempt to locate anyone else believed to have had close contact with the animal, so that they can receive preventative treatment before potentially spreading rabies and contributing to an outbreak.
Authorities from the small rural town in the northwestern region of Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen, Morocco, are requiring the donkey's owner to slaughter it to make sure that the disease does not spread further.
The Mirror reports that the young people, who were from the same small clan, were between 7 and 15. It is unknown if the youngsters made a full recovery or how they learned that they had contracted the disease, since it is usually too late for treatment once rabies symptoms show up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At that point, it is almost always fatal -- fewer than 10 people have been known to have survived clinical rabies -- and patients at this stage usually just receive palliative care.
Early symptoms are usually flu-like and include fever, weakness and headache as well as itching or pain around the bite or infected area. Those signs can last for a few days and progress to include hallucinations, delirium, sleeplessness and strange behavior. This usually lasts from two to 10 days.
Besides rabies, those who engage in bestiality can contract a number of other diseases, including leptospirosis -- which is most commonly transmitted by dogs, horses and sheep and often leads to meningitis -- and echinococcosis -- a fecal parasite that can be fatal if untreated, notes Health 24.