WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Oakland County Health Division says they have confirmed a case of rabies in a skunk that was found in West Bloomfield.
The skunk was found in the area north of West 14 Mile Road, south of West Maple Road between Orchard Lake and Middlebelt Roads.
This is the 12th skunk to be verified to have rabies this year. Officials say they also found one cat and four bats.
"The best protection is to avoid contact with stray, wild, and dead animals. Rabies is a fatal disease for both humans and pets and there is no known cure,” said Dr. Faust, Medical Director for Oakland County in a news release. “Help keep pets protected by getting them vaccinated and avoiding encounters with unfamiliar animals.”
Officials say the warm temperatures in December have led to an increase in wild animal activity.
The have released the following information to residents.
Residents are urged to stay away from animals such as skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes, and stray cats and dogs. If you or your household pet are exposed to any wild animal or an animal unknown to you, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. Then seek medical or veterinary attention immediately, even if your animal was previously vaccinated. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and is spread through bites or scratches. Rabies is not spread through a skunk’s spray. To report potential rabies exposure, call the Health Division at 248-858-1286.
Rabies is present in our community. Keep away from unfamiliar animals, especially if they are acting strangely such as having problems swallowing, exhibiting lots of drool or saliva, appearing tamer than you would expect, biting at everything, and/or having trouble moving or are paralyzed.
Follow these simple steps to protect yourself from rabies:
- Have pets vaccinated regularly.
- Do not handle stray, wild, or dead animals.
- Keep pets indoors, supervise when outside, and always use a leash when walking to limit their exposure to wild animals that may be rabid.
- Do not leave food or water outside for pets when unattended.
- Keep garbage securely covered, as these items may attract wild or stray animals.
More information about rabies can be found on the Health Division’s website at www.oakgov.com/health or by contacting Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Nurse on Call is available 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.