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Brighton skunk confirmed to have rabies

A rabid skunk in Weld County was found to have suffered bite wounds.

A rabid skunk in Weld County was found to have suffered bite wounds.

BRIGHTON, Colo. — A skunk collected on a private property in Brighton tested positive for rabies, according to health department officials.

The property is located in northern Adams County, just south of Weld County, according to a news release sent out by the Tri-County Health Department.

“This rabid skunk in Adams County, along with several others identified over the last few years, confirms that rabies is endemic in skunks in the Front Range and Eastern Plains,” said Richard L. Vogt, the executive director of Tri-County Health Department. “When rabies spreads from skunk to skunk, the risk increases for people, unvaccinated pets and livestock.”

Dr. Evan Dowdy of the Horizon Veterinary Clinic recognized that the skunk might be infected with rabies and collected it for testing.

Officials said there was no human or animal exposure to the skunk.

This is the second rabid skunk detected in Adams County since the emergence of skunk variant rabies in Colorado in 2007, according to Gary Sky, a spokesperson with the Tri-County Health Department.

People or animals can get rabies from if they are bit by a rabid animal, or from a rabid animal’s saliva if it comes in contact with their eyes, nose, mouth or open wounds.

Immediate medical treatment is required after exposure to an infected animal.