Jefferson County, CO — Skunk rabies continues to be a concern in Jefferson County with the 17th skunk testing positive for rabies in 2017. Additionally, a bat in Jefferson County has now also tested positive for rabies. Both bat and skunk rabies are now considered to be endemic to the Denver metro area.
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. Because rabies has been found in a terrestrial animal in the Denver metro area, 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 a 120-day quarantine.
Rabies is caused by a virus that affects the nervous system of humans and other animals and is nearly always fatal. The virus is shed in the saliva of infected animals and people and 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. All wild animals including skunks, bats, foxes, and raccoons should not be handled or fed to prevent exposure to this virus. Contact your local animal control agency to address issues with wildlife on your property.
In addition to rabies vaccinations for pets and livestock, please follow these precautions to prevent exposure to rabies:
Public Health Communications