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Rabies confirmed in skunks from Southfield, Farmington Hills

Posted: 10:21 AM, Oct 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-09 18:33:00-04
Oakland Co. Health Division reports confirmed case of rabies in skunk

(WXYZ) — Two new rabies cases have been confirmed in skunks from Southfield and Farmington Hills, according to the Oakland County Health Division.

In 2019, rabies has been verified in four bats and eight skunks in Oakland County. Residents are urged to avoid wild animals like skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes and stray cats and dogs.

“We continue to work with partnering agencies to investigate the recent increase of animal rabies cases in Oakland County,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County, in a news release. “We are particularly interested in three dead skunks removed in Southfield within a mile radius of each other.”

If a human has been bitten or scratched by a rabid animal, disease prevention includes rabies vaccines which are effective. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and is spread through bites or scratches.

To protect against rabies, the Oakland County Health Division recommends you follow these steps:

  • Have pets vaccinated regularly
  • Do not handle stray, wild or dead animals
  • Keep pets indoors or supervised to limit their exposure to wild animals
  • Use a leash when walking dogs or keep them in a fenced-in yard
  • Do not leave food or water outside for pets when unattended
  • Call local animal control experts if an animal is acting strangely
  • Keep garbage securely covered