South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Rabies precautions recommended in Carrick

 

August 1, 2017



The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is advising residents in Carrick to take precautions after a rabid skunk found in the area was killed in an altercation with a dog. The incident took place in the 100 block of Spencer Avenue on July 26th. Anyone in the area who has had exposure to a skunk should contact ACHD.

Although seemingly common sense, contact with stray animals should be avoided. Residents should have their pets vaccinated, and should stay alert for unusual behavior. Any individual who is bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed to saliva from a stray or other animal should immediately cleanse the contact area with soap and water, seek emergency medical treatment, and contact ACHD at 412-687-ACHD (2243) to report the incident.

“Well-intentioned efforts by individuals can sometimes result in unnecessary exposure to pathogens like the rabies virus,” said Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker. “We strongly advise everyone to stay away from wild or stray animals, and encourage Carrick residents, particularly in the area of this incident, remain alert. If animals appear to be acting strange, or become threatening, call your local animal control service, the police, or the Pennsylvania Game Commission.”

Rabies is a virus transmitted by an animal bite or scratch. It is almost always fatal when exposures are left untreated, but highly effective when the rabies vaccine is given promptly after an exposure. It is a major expense and inconvenience that can be avoided by staying away from stray animals, wild animals, or animals acting strangely as they can be potentially rabid.

Including the skunk, a total of eight rabid animals have been reported in Allegheny County this year including one cat, three bats, and three raccoons.

 

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