Health News

Apr 4, 2012 5:26 PM by Greg Boyce

Three skunks test positive for rabies

Three more skunks have tested positive for rabies in Pueblo County.  This is a continuing health threat, especially for dogs, cats and other pets.

Nine skunks tested positive for rabies last year.  Skunks also tested positive for rabies in the fall of 2010. 

The three skunks were found on Garland Road east of Pueblo, near Paloma and Roselawn near Blende and in the 2400 block of Winnipeg.  The Winnipeg location is worrisome because it's a residential neighborhood near Lake Minnequa.

"Skunks with rabies are a risk to pets and humans. It is important to talk to your children about not feeding or playing with wild animals", explained Dr. Nevin-Woods. Skunk rabies poses a threat to under-and-unvaccinated pets and livestock, because the chances are high that unprotected animals will get rabies infection and die after exposure (such as being bitten by a rabid skunk). Pets can bring this fatal disease into the home and be a danger to family or friends.

Residents should watch for skunks with strange behavior.  "Skunks were seen in home yards during daylight hours. It is unusual for skunks to be out during the day. Fortunately, there was no human contact with the identified skunks. Also, pets in the locations where the skunks were located were up-to-date on their rabies vaccines," stated Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, Public Health Director at the Pueblo City-County Health Department.

To report strange skunk behavior call the U.S. Department of Agricultures' local Wildlife Specialist, 719-250-9035.


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