Jefferson County, CO — Another skunk has tested positive for rabies in Jefferson County, Colorado. This one was found on the property at Stott Elementary School, 6600 Yank Way in Arvada. Public health urges anyone who may have come in contact with this skunk to notify their healthcare provider immediately. Skunk rabies is on the rise in Jefferson County with 11 skunks testing positive for rabies already in 2017. View data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/rabies-data\.
The public is strongly urged to vaccinate all of their domestic pets and valuable livestock against rabies and to be sure vaccinations are kept up-to-date. Now that rabies has been found in a terrestrial animal within the county, any domestic animal encounter with any wild animal will be treated like an exposure to a rabid animal. Domestic animals with one expired rabies or without any rabies vaccinations will be classified as high risk and be required to undergo a120-day quarantine.
Rabies is caused by a virus that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals and is nearly always fatal. The virus is shed in the saliva of infected animals. People or animals can get rabies from the bite of a rabid animal or from a rabid animal’s saliva if it comes in contact with their eyes, nose, mouth or open wounds. Immediate medical treatment is required after exposure to an infected animal. Skunks, bats, foxes, raccoons and other wildlife should not be handled or fed to prevent exposure to this virus.
In addition to rabies vaccinations for pets and livestock, here are additional precautions to prevent possible exposure to rabies: