Pueblo, CO February 6, 2019—The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed a skunk tested positive for rabies near North Mesa Elementary School on Gale Road in Pueblo County. Skunks have tested positive in the area of City Park; however, this is the first skunk to test positive in the St. Charles Mesa area in Pueblo County this year.
“It is unusual for animals to test positive for rabies during the winter. However, rabies has been found in wild skunks, bats, and other animals throughout Pueblo County.” stated Jody Carrillo, Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness division director of the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Carrillo added, “Wild animals, including skunks are to be left alone and not touched.” If you encounter wildlife, immediately remove yourself and pets from the area. Skunks need to be tested for rabies if they come into contact with humans or pets.
Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Rabies also can be transmitted if the animal’s saliva gets into a cut or break in the skin. “People can be exposed to rabies when they assist, feed, handle or come in contact with wild animals,” Jody Carrillo further explained.
Pet and livestock owners are highly encouraged to vaccinate animals against rabies through a licensed veterinarian. Dogs and cats that are not up-to-date on their vaccinations have an extremely high chance of getting infected and dying from rabies. These pets also pose a tremendous risk to humans because they can bring rabies into the home,” Jody Carrillo stated.
To avoid exposure to rabies:
Never touch a skunk or any other wild animal. Healthy skunks and raccoons typically
come out in the evening. If the animals are out in the day, they may be sick. Children
who find wild animals should leave them where they are, do not touch the wild animal,
and tell an adult.
If you are bitten by a skunk or other wild animal, wash the bite thoroughly with soap and
water then contact both your physician and the Pueblo Department of Public Health and
Making sure your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations
For additional information about rabies call 719-583-4307.