How to deal with rabid animals

Hampden County

A rabid skunk found in the Union Road area has prompted warnings that the disease could be spreading.

“Rabies is nothing to mess around with,” said Pam Peebles, executive director at Thomas J O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the brain of mammals.

Most often, the deadly virus spreads through the bite of a rabid animal.

Peebles told 22News, “Anytime that you notice any break in the skin and you don’t know where it came from, it’s really valuable to talk to your veterinarian. Especially, if your animal has been out of your site at all. You don’t know if it could’ve encountered a wild animal.”

Back in June, a cat tested positive for rabies in between Union Road and Walker Road in Wales.

And after a rabid skunk was found in the same area last week, Wales Animal Control warned residents on Facebook. They said skunks are known to eat with feral cats. They’re asking anyone that knows some feeding cats outside to call them.

State law requires that all cats and dogs must be up to date on rabies vaccinations.

And when it comes to encountering a wild animal it’s best to leave them be, said Patti Steinman, education coordinator at Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Which is what you certainly should do and like in a means just never touch a wild animal. They’re wild, that’s their name for a reason,” Steinman added.

Early symptoms of rabies in humans are similar to that of many other illnesses — including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort.

And these symptoms can last for days.

As the disease progresses, a person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and insomnia.

Your chance of beating the disease is much higher if you see a doctor at the first sign of symptoms.

To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported less than 10 people have survived clinical rabies.

That’s why it’s important to get vaccinated.

Current vaccines are relatively painless and are given in your arm, like a flue or tetanus vaccine.

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