Health officials confirm case of rabies in skunk found in Oakland County

Human exposure to skunk is unlikely, officials believe

A skunk
A skunk (iStock Image)

LAKE ORION, Mich. – Health officials have confirmed a case of rabies in a skunk found in Oakland County.

The Oakland County Health Division announced Friday that the rabies case was confirmed in a skunk from Lake Orion. It’s unlikely that any humans were exposed to the skunk, officials said.

Health officials advised staying away from stray, wild and dead animals to protect against rabies.

“Rabies is a fatal disease and there is no known cure.” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, a health officer for Oakland County. “People and their pets are urged to avoid encounters with unfamiliar animals, and keep pets protected by getting them vaccinated.”

Rabies is often found in bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes, officials said.

The rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and is spread through bites and scratches, experts said. It cannot be spread through a skunk’s spray.

Anyone who is exposed to wild animals should wash the affected area with soap and water and then seek medical or veterinary attention immediately, according to the Oakland County Health Division.

To report possible rabies exposure, call the Oakland County Health Division at 248-858-1286.

Here are some simple tips from experts to protect 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.

Click here for more information about rabies.

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Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.