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Public urged to avoid wild animals after rabid skunk cases


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) – Suburban Detroit officials are urging the public to stay away from wild animals after nearly a dozen cases of rabies have been confirmed in skunks.

Oakland County health officials said Thursday a dead skunk found in West Bloomfield tested positive for rabies, bringing the number of skunks confirmed to have the virus in the county to 11. Four bats have also tested positive.

Officials urged residents to stay away from skunks, bats and other wild animals, as well as stray cats and dogs.

Rabid skunks can pose a greater threat to the public than rabid bats because they’re ground-based animals more likely to interact with people and pets.

Rabies can be fatal to humans after symptoms begin to occur. Deaths can be prevented with a vaccine administered immediately after exposure.

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