ITHACA, NY – A skunk caught on 2nd Street in the city of Ithaca has been tested positive for rabies, according to the Tompkins County Health Department. The skunk was captured earlier this week after being watched on Monday in Cascadilla Street and on Tuesday in 2nd Street.
Tompkins County Animal Control caught the skunk and sent a copy to the New York State Department of Health for testing. The New York State Rabies Laboratory confirmed on Friday that the skunk was rabid.
According to the New York State Department of Health, the first sign of rabies in animals is usually a change in normal behavior. "It can become unusually aggressive or tame, the animal can lose its fear of humans and natural predators, a wild animal can appear affectionate and friendly, it can be agitated or irritated and it can attack anything on its path, tumbling, cramping, suffocation, frothing Paralysis is sometimes seen in the mouth, many animals make very unusual sounds, and infected animals usually die within one week of signs of rabies. "
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9659005] Rabies, as reported by the county health department, is usually cured It can also be spread when the saliva of a rabid animal enters the body through a mucous membrane or wound. The Department points out that when handling pets that may have come into contact with a rabid animal, people should wear gloves and thoroughly cleanse any areas that may have come into contact with a rabid animal or its saliva with soap and water should.
In a press release, the health department is calling on all Tompkins County staff to report all animal bites and scratches and "any contact of humans or pets with saliva or other potentially infectious material (brain, spinal cord or cerebrospinal fluid)." of wild animals or other animals suspected of causing rabies. "Anyone who comes in contact with a bat or finds a bat in a room with a child, a sleeping person, or a disabled person should also contact the ward.
The department also noted that all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated rabies when they are four months old, and vaccinations should be kept up to date.
Anyone who has questions or thinks that he or his pet may be in with the skunk or another possibly rabid wild animal Contact should contact Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6688.