Residents in one Michigan county warned to stay away from wildlife after 2 new rabies cases

OAKLAND COUNTY, MI – Two new cases of rabies in skunks have been confirmed by the Oakland County Health Division.

The animals were found in Southfield and Troy, according to the Associated Press.

The news comes days after a report that a dead skunk found in Southfield also tested positive for rabies. Another case, this time in Rochester Hills, was confirmed in a skunk last March.

“Rabies is present in our communities,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “Avoid contact with all wild animals and get your pets vaccinated.”

Residents are urged to stay away from skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes, and stray cats and dogs, county officials said. Rabies is rare among domesticated cats and dogs.

Rabies is a virus that lives in the saliva of infected animals. It can be spread if you are scratched or bitten by an infected animal.

Symptoms of rabies infection include problems swallowing, slow or unusual movement, and excessive drooling. Wild animals with rabies will show no fear toward humans, and may act aggressively.

Rabies can be fatal to humans. However, death can be prevented if people get a vaccine immediately after they are exposed to the disease.

For more information on rabies, see the Oakland County website.