For the seventh time this year, a skunk in Pueblo has tested positive for rabies.
The rabid skunk was found during the day in the yard of a home on Gale Road, near 25th Lane in Pueblo. It did not come in contact with any humans or pets.
Officials with the Pueblo City-County Health Department are reminding people to make sure their pets and livestock are up-to-date on their vaccinations. They want people to know the importance of staying away from wild animals, especially ones seen acting unusual during the day.
"Its important for pets to be vaccinated as rabies is carried by skunks and they can bite an unvaccinated animal who may then go in turn bite a human," said Sarah Bruestle-Joseph, Public Information Officer with the Pueblo City-County Health Department.
In a press release, Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, Public Health Director at the Pueblo City-County Health Department, said, “Pueblo is getting closer and closer to the possibility of a human being exposed to rabies.”
Rabies is most commonly found in bats but people and pets should avoid contact with skunks and other wild animals as they could be rabid.
Wild animals infected with rabies will act either very aggressive or very docile, so be careful of both.
Some vaccines for pets last for only one year, some for three years. So check your pet’s tag or call your vet to make sure your animals vaccines are up to date.
In most human cases of rabies it is fatal, unless treated quickly. So if you are bitten by a wild or domestic animal, get treated immediately. Following the bite, some symptoms will include fever, headache, and weakness.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent rabies:
-Ensure that all pets and wild stock are vaccinate properly. Puppies and kitties should be vaccinated for rabies as early as three months old.
-Do not feed wild animals or keep pet food and trash outside. Keeping pet food and trash outside will attract wildlife to your home.
-Keep your children and pets away from wild animals. Teach children to stay away from wild mammals.
-If your pet is bitten or scratched by wild animals, contact your veterinarian.
- If you or a family member is bitten by a wild animal or even a domestic animal, contact your physician.
-If you see a skunk or other wild animal acting abnormally, such as stumbling or acting aggressive, especially during daylight hours, stay away and call 911.
-To remove a dead skunk or other wildlife on your property, do not touch the animal. Remove it with a shovel or other tool and double bag it in the trash.
To report a skunk or other wild animal call Pueblo Animal Services at 719-544-3005 to report the location.
To view all the locations where skunks rabies have been identified click on the link below.
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