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First rabid skunk found in Indiana since 2004

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (IUSTV News) – A rabid skunk was found in Clark County, Indiana, prompting the Indiana Department of Health to urge people to be vigilant and for pet owners to get their animals vaccinated. 

“This may signal increased risk for people and animals in the region,” said Indiana State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Jen Brown. “This is a wake-up call for all Hoosiers to ensure that their pets are vaccinated against this deadly disease.” 

This is the first time a skunk has been found to have rabies in the state in 20 years. The most common carrier of rabies in Indiana is bats, and while the risk of dogs and cats contracting it is low, officials urge people to take precautions. 

Along with vaccines, people should keep pet cats and ferrets indoors, and if you let your dog out, make sure to always keep them in your eyesight. Pet owners should also make sure to spay and neuter their animals to help reduce the number of stray animals. Additionally, officials say you should leave stray and wild animals alone, and call animal control or law enforcement to handle them.  

If you or your pet encounter an animal you fear may have rabies, contact the appropriate healthcare provider immediately. While rare, it is a fatal disease for humans and animals alike in most cases.