Rabies confirmed in skunk removed from West Bloomfield

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PONTIAC, Mich. – Another case of animal rabies has been confirmed in a skunk, according to Oakland County Health officials.

Oakland County Health Division reports a confirmed animal rabies case in a skunk removed from West Bloomfield, north of West 14 Mile Road, south of West Maple Road between Orchard Lake and Middlebelt Roads.

In 2019, rabies has been verified in one cat, four bats and twelve skunks in Oakland County.

"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. “Help keep pets protected by getting them vaccinated and avoiding encounters with unfamiliar animals.”

Due to unusually warm temperatures in December there could be increased activity of wild animals. 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


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter.