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Skunk tests positive for rabies in Superior

In the last few years, skunks have been a significant source of rabies throughout Colorado, public health officials said.

SUPERIOR, Colo. — A skunk found in Boulder County has tested positive for rabies.

The skunk was found near South Idalia Court in Superior on Saturday. 

Residents saw the animal and contacted Boulder County Animal Control, who notified the health department and sent the sample for testing, according to Boulder County Public Health (BCPH).

Although this skunk had no known human or animal contact, BCPH is asking any resident who lives in the area to contact them if they had any contact with the skunk or if a domestic animal had contact or an unknown recent bite.

> Above video: Colorado takes 2nd place in ranking of pet-friendly states.

BCPH said in the last few years, skunks have been a significant source of rabies throughout eastern Colorado, now including the Front Range.

Other wild animals that may carry rabies include raccoons and foxes. Terrestrial rabies, such as skunk rabies, is carried by animals that travel predominantly on the ground.

“Making sure rabies vaccinations are up-to-date for dogs, cats, horses and livestock is the most important and effective way to protect both animals and humans from contracting rabies,” BCPH Environmental Health Specialist Carol McInnes said. “Sadly, pets with no rabies vaccination that come into contact with a rabid animal may need to be euthanized or placed in a four-month quarantine at the owner’s expense.”

Public health tips to reduce exposure to rabies:

  • Do not handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. Contact animal control to collect the animal.
  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Teach children to observe wildlife from a distance and to notify an adult if there is a wild animal in the area or if they are bitten or scratched.
  • Eliminate food sources for wild animals by not feeding pets outdoors, closing pet doors especially at night, and tightly closing garbage cans and feed bins.
  • Ensure that your pets, horses and livestock are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.
  • Maintain control of pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision.
  • Thoroughly wash any wound caused by an animal with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.

For more information about rabies, visit BoulderCountyVector.org or call 303-441-1564.  

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