Rabid skunk advisory issued

There have been several incidents of wild skunks chasing humans and pets recently in northern Murray and Whitfield counties. Skunks on River Road in Murray County and on Riverdale Road in north Whitfield County have been confirmed as rabid.

  Another Murray County skunk from Mantooth Road in Crandall is being tested but is probably rabid, as well.

  Skunks normally avoid people and are mostly nocturnal. When skunks, raccoons and similar wild animals are visible during daylight hours, they may have rabies. 

Rabid animals may be aggressive like these skunks have been, or they may seem sick, disoriented and lethargic.

Wildfires to the east of Crandall may be forcing wild animals out of their normal habitats.

  Please make certain pets are currently vaccinated against rabies and have them revaccinated if they are not. Rabies is a deadly virus that can be transmitted to humans through the saliva of infected animals.

  All hoofed livestock are susceptible to rabies. Vaccinating whole herds of animals against rabies is not usually practical, but we recommend vaccination for livestock that have close human contact, such as show cows and all horses. Any livestock showing neurological symptoms should be evaluated by your veterinarian for rabies.

  For more information about rabies and prevention, contact the local county Environmental Health office or log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/rabies.

Times Courier

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