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2 More Rabid Skunks Found Near Fort Collins

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)- Two more rabid skunks have been found near Fort Collins. That brings the total in the last month to 10 rabid skunks.

Most of the rabid animals were found in open space areas near the city.

Rabies in skunks are not uncommon but people are urged to keep their pets inside and away from skunks. They’re also urged to get their livestock vaccinated.

Three rabid bats also have been found in the county this month.

The rabies virus is almost always fatal for animals and can also kill humans. Health officials are urging residents to vaccinate livestock and pets.

“It’s a bigger threat to livestock, to pets even to humans who might come across them while hiking. We just want people to be really aware that this is happening here and happening rather rapidly,” said Larimer County Dept. of Health spokeswoman Jane Viste in a report posted by CBS Denver last month.

The Health Department stresses that although ten skunks have been captured and tested positive for rabies, there are numerous others who have been captured and appeared sick, but were not tested. Testing is only done when there is possible pet, livestock, or human contact with the rabid animal, or if a sick animal is found in an area where there have been no previous reports of rabid skunks.

There will likely be numerous skunks, and possibly other animals, infected with skunk variant (type) of rabies that first arrived in Colorado in 2007. Until recently, bats had been the main carrier of rabies in Colorado.

The Health Department has posted a map that shows where skunks and bats that have tested positive for rabies have been found since early May.  The map is at http://larimer.org/maps/rabies.cfm and will be updated as soon as possible after positive confirmations are made.

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