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Health Officials Issue Warning After Rabid Skunk Found Dead In West Roxbury

BOSTON (CBS) – Boston health officials are looking to get in touch with anyone who may have had contact with a rabid skunk found dead in West Roxbury.

The Boston Public Health Commission said a skunk found dead on Stimson Street tested positive for rabies.

Officials said a dog came in contact with the skunk but that dog is up to date on its shots and not at risk.

The health commission wants to talk with anyone who may have come in contact with the skunk and asks them to notify the commission by calling 617-534-5611.

“Preventative treatments are needed for anyone who suspects they’ve been in direct contact with this animal” said Dr. Anita Barry, director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the commission. “Persons who did not touch the skunk are not at any risk.”

Rabies is a virus that attacks the brain and nervous system and spreads through the saliva of a rabid animal, usually from bites or scratches, the commission said. The virus can also get into the body through open cuts or wounds, or through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Once people get the virus, it spreads through the body and is often fatal.

The commission offers the following tips on avoiding contact with rabid animals:

Keep a healthy distance

  • Do not feed or touch animals that you do not know, including all wild animals.
  • Do not keep wild animals as pets – it is illegal and dangerous.
  • Do not touch or pick up dead animals.
  • Teach children to never approach strange animals – even baby animals can be dangerous.
  • Cover and secure garbage cans and never leave pet food outside.
  • Ensure all openings in your home are closed and secure to prevent wildlife from moving in.

 

Protect your pets

  • Make sure your pet (dog, cat, or ferret) is up-to-date on rabies vaccination.
  • Do not let your pets roam freely outdoors. Keep your dog on a leash at all times.

Further information on rabies prevention is available on the commission’s website.

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