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IDOH reports skunk rabies in Southern Indiana for first time since 2004

A skunk sitting in a patch of grass.
Pixabay
IDOH recommends vaccinating and supervising pets, leaving stray animals and wildlife alone, and contacting animal control to remove stray animals from neighborhoods.

The Indiana Department of Health is warning people to make sure their pets are up to date on their vaccinations and maintain a safe distance from wildlife following the detection of skunk rabies in Southern Indiana.

IDOH said the cases were in Clark and Washington counties, but it is working to determine if other counties are affected.

Rabies is a viral infection primarily spread through the saliva of an infected animal. Untreated rabies in people is “almost always” fatal, but it can be prevented with prompt treatment after a bite.

The IDOH recommends vaccinating and supervising pets, leaving stray animals and wildlife alone, and contacting animal control to remove stray animals from neighborhoods.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

Hoosiers can report sick or dead skunks to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife Health Program at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife. IDOH said in its statement people should not approach or touch skunks or any other wild animals, even those that appear healthy.

No human infections are suspected. These are the first confirmed cases in Indiana since 2004.

Abigail is IPB's health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

Copyright 2024 IPB News.

Abigail Ruhman