Health officials say dead skunk found in West Bloomfield had rabies

A skunk odor plagued residents of a Buffalo, N.Y., neighborhood this year, the New York Daily News reported. Apparently, after being trapped by officials, the animals were being killed and then stored in an outdoor freezer.

Health officials in Oakland County have confirmed that a dead skunk removed from West Bloomfield had rabies.

The skunk was found north of West 14 Mile Road and south of West Maple Road between Drake and Farmington roads. Residents are asked to stay away from wild animals like skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes and stray cats and dogs.

This year, rabies has been verified in four bats and 11 skunks in Oakland County.

"Rabies is a fatal disease, and there is no known cure. The best protection is to avoid contact with stray, wild and dead animals,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “Help keep pets protected by getting them vaccinated and avoiding encounters with unfamiliar animals.”

If you or your pet is exposed to any wild animal, wash any area that had contact with that animal and seek medical or veterinary attention as soon as possible, even if your pet was previously vaccinated. Rabies is spread through bites or scratches. It is not spread through a skunk's spray.

Protect yourself from rabies

Keep away from wild or stray animals, especially if they are acting strangely, like having problems swallowing, drooling excessively, appearing tamer than expected, biting or having trouble moving.

Health officials encourage residents to have their pets vaccinated regularly. They also said you should never handle stray, wild or dead animals. Keep pets indoors and supervise them when they are outside. Do not leave food or water outside for pets when unattended.

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Watch the report below from June 13.

About the Author:

Kayla Clarke

Kayla is a web producer with an English degree from Michigan State University. Before joining the ClickOnDetroit team in 2018, she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.