Five Skunks Test Positive for Rabies in Northern Weld County
Five skunks have tested positive for rabies in Northern Weld County. They were found near the towns of Severance, Pierce, and Grover. Some animal and human exposures have occurred, and they all are receiving treatment. Four people are receiving post exposure prophylaxis after handling their pets which encountered the skunks. A total of 14 dogs were also exposed.
Rabies can infect many wild animals, including skunks, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and bats. Health officials recommend all domestic animals such as cats, dogs, horses and livestock be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian.
Signs of Rabies
- Increases in saliva and drooling
- Nocturnal animals seen out during the daytime
- Slow or difficult movement
Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that affects the nervous system. Rabies causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and is nearly always fatal. It is transmitted in saliva through the bite of an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted in saliva to an open cut, scratch or wound. If a person suspects they have been exposed to rabies, they should contact their medical provider immediately. Effective vaccination treatment is available to prevent rabies if started before symptoms appear.
To Prevent Exposure to Rabies:
- Do not feed, touch or handle wild animals
- Be cautious of stray dogs and cats
- Have dogs, cats, horses, and livestock vaccinated regularly by a licensed veterinarian
- Be cautious if wild animals suddenly appear friendly or are walking or behaving erratically
- If your pet is in a fight with a wild animal, care should be taken in handling your pet until it is given a bath and any blood or saliva is washed off. Human rabies exposure may occur from the saliva left on your pet from the wild animal.