Rabid skunk in Hayes County year’s first case

    Confirmation has been completed on the first positive rabies case in southwest Nebraska for 2018.  
    The rabies exposure came from a skunk in Hayes County.
    “With high occurrences of rabies in the health district in the last few years, we want to send early notification to the public,” said Melissa Propp, Disease Surveillance Coordinator for the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control, rabies is a medical emergency. Any wounds should be immediately washed with soap and water and receive medical attention from a health care professional.  
    Rabies is a deadly virus infection that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies.
    Animals with rabies may act differently from healthy animals.
    Wild animals may move slowly or may act as if they are tame. A pet that is usually friendly may snap or try to bite.
    If you are around an animal which displays any of these signs of rabies, move yourself and others to safety—aggression, increased drooling, problems swallowing, general sickness and changes in their behavior.
    If you discover a dead wild animal that may have infected your pets:
    Remove the animal from the area by using a shovel, wearing gloves and placing carcass in a plastic bag
    Wash your hands in soap and water after taking off your gloves  
    Avoid direct contact between the carcass and the person  
    Disinfect tools, cages, gloves and other surfaces potentially contaminated with saliva, nervous tissue or blood with a 10 percent solution of household bleach in water
    “Vaccination is the best protection for keeping your pets safe,” states Propp. “We recommend that residents contact their local veterinarian to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current.”  
    Contact your local veterinarian and public health department in regards to rabies testing and  exposures.  
    Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins and Red Willow Counties.


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