Skunks have tested positive in the area of City Park, but this is the first positive testing in the St. Charles Mesa area in Pueblo this year.
“It is unusual for animals to test positive for rabies during the winter. However, rabies has been found in wild skunks, bats, and other animals throughout Pueblo County,” Jody Carrillo, Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness Division Director said.
Carrillo added that all wild animals should be left alone. Skunks need to be tested for rabies if it comes in contact with your or your pets.
Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. It can also be transmitted if the animal’s saliva gets into a cut or break in the skin.
“People can be exposed to rabies when they assist, feed, handle, or come in contact with wild animals,” Carrillo said.
The health department is urging pet and livestock owners to vaccinate their animals against rabies.
Dogs and cats that are not up-to-date on their shots are at extremely high risk of being infected and dying from rabies. Household pets also pose a greater risk to humans because they can bring the virus inside a home.
Here are some tips to avoid exposure to rabies:
- Never touch a skunk or any wild animal
- If you are bitten by a skunk or wild animal, wash the bite thoroughly with soap and water then contact your doctor and the health department
- Make sure your pets are up to date on rabies vaccinations
For more information about rabies call 719-583-4307.