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Rabies virus surfaces in Schuylkill County

ASHLAND, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- Spring weather means wild animals are coming out of hibernation, and some of them are bringing the rabies virus with them.

When a family dog was attacked by a skunk, the Ashland police department issued a public information release warning residents of rabid animals in the area. That skunk was sent to the state department of health and it tested positive for the rabies virus. It's the first case so far this year, 2018, in Schuylkill County.


"We're seeing anything from raccoons, cats, bats, skunks, opossums," said Jennifer Snyder, certified vet tech.


"I mean they can get into my yard," said Bob Taylor of Coal Township.

Nearly 350 cases of rabies were reported in Pennsylvania in 2017. Seven of those cases were in Schuylkill County - one of the highest in the region

Bob's dog, Daisy Duke, got her rabies shot today. She's good now for three years.

According to the state department of agriculture, even if your pet is vaccinated, it can still contract the virus. The state says there are only three options when dealing with a confirmed or suspected rabies case.


1 - euthanize
2 - quarantine for 90 days (if up to date on rabies vaccination)
3 - quarantine for 180 days if unvaccinated


"The most crucial thing with that rabies vaccine is to have that certificate that identifies the owner, the pet, a descirption of the pet -- that's what the dog warden is going to look for," said Snyder.

Vets recommend getting your pet a vaccination every year or every three years.

Police ask that residents stay away from wild animals and inform police if they see anything unusual.

 

 


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