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Tests Show Two Skunks Had Rabies In Stamford

STAMFORD, Conn. — Two skunks tested positive for rabies in Stamford, a news release from the city said. These are the only two animals to test positive for the disease in 2012, the release said.

It was reported on July 25 and Aug. 15 that the skunks tested positive, after they were sent to the state’s Department of Public Health Laboratory, the release said. The city’s Department of Health and Social Services will continue to monitor rabies cases in the city.

Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the nervous system and affects warm-blooded mammals, including humans, the release said. The virus is found in the saliva of an infected animal and can be transmitted by bite or through an open wound, the release said.

The Department of Public Health gave the following tips to prevent rabies from being transmitted:

1. Immediately report a bite from a wild or domestic animal to Stamford Animal Control (203-977-4437). Wash animal bite wounds thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible after the bite. Contamination of open cuts or scratches with saliva of potentially rabid animals should also be washed off immediately. Consult a physician as soon as possible.

2. Recognize signs of unusual animal behavior, which may include: • Moving slowly/difficulty moving • Acting as if it is tame • Appears sick • Has problems swallowing • Has an increase of saliva/drooling • Acts aggressive • Has paralysis • Bites at everything if excited • Unusual vocalization

3. Be sure that all family pets are up to date on their rabies vaccination. If unsure please call your veterinarian. Contact Animal Control for information on low cost vaccination programs.

4. Animal proof your home and yard. Make sure all garbage containers have tight fitting lids, do not leave pet food or water outside, do not allow rainwater to collect in outdoor containers or equipment and keep yard free of garbage and debris.

5. Do not approach, feed or handle wild animals.

6. Avoid contact with stray animals or pets other than your own.

7. Try to prevent your pets from coming into contact with wild animals.

8. Screen off vents to attics and other areas that could provide shelter for bats.

9. To remove wild animals from property call a wild-life removal company.

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