Skunk In Oakland County Tests Positive For Rabies

WWJ News
September 21, 2019 - 11:59 am

ROCHESTER HILLS (WWJ) - Officials are warning residents in Oakland County after a dead skunk found just north of Detroit tested positive for rabies.

The Oakland County Health Division says the skunk carcass was removed from Southfield, in an area north of 10 Mile Road and south of Lincoln Road between Southfield and Greenfield roads.

It has been reported that multiple dead skunks were recently found in this area but were not tested for rabies. If additional dead wild animals are found within this specific area, call the Health Division at 248-858-1286.

Residents are urged to stay away from wild animals such as skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes, and stray cats and dogs.

"Rabies is present in our communities," Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County, said in a statement. "People and their pets need to be careful and avoid encounters with unfamiliar animals."

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.

If a wild animal is found behaving strangely -- including having problems swallowing, exhibiting lots of drool or saliva, appearing tamer than you would expect, biting at everything, and having trouble moving or is paralyzed -- call the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center at 248-858-1070 for assistance.

If you or your household pet is bitten by any wild animal or an animal unknown to you, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical or veterinary attention immediately. To report an animal bite, call the Health Division at 248-858-1286.

Everyone can take simple steps to protect themselves from rabies:

  • Do not handle stray, wild, or dead animals.
  • Keep pets indoors or supervised to limit their exposure to wild animals that may be rabid.
  • Use a leash when walking dogs or keep them in a fenced-in yard.
  • Have pets vaccinated regularly. This will protect them if exposed to animals with the disease and prevent them from becoming ill and infecting humans.
  • Do not feed or put water for pets outside.
  • Keep garbage securely covered, as these items may attract wild or stray animals.