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Two skunks found in Boulder County last week tested positive for rabies.

The first rabid skunk was found June 22 near Olde Stage Road in unincorporated Boulder County, when a resident’s dog approached the dying skunk and was bitten.

The second skunk was found Thursday near Aurora Avenue and Grant Place in Boulder, when residents heard their dog barking and growling at the sick animal near their front porch.

Both dogs were up to date on their vaccinations and only needed to get rabies booster vaccinations. They will be monitored for 45 days.

“Both infected skunks were discovered after a pet engaged with them,” Boulder County Public Health Environmental Health Specialist Carol McInnes said in a statement. “Encounters with sick animals can be dangerous, and these recent instances provide a good reminder to keep a close eye on your pets and ensure their vaccinations are current.”

Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system and is almost always fatal unless it is treated before any symptoms appear. Exposure to rabies is generally the result of a bite or scratch by an infected animal, and treatment for rabies exposure involves a series of vaccinations.

Bats, raccoons and foxes also can carry the disease.

Residents should not handle unfamiliar animals, and should attempt to safely contain an animal displaying rabies symptoms and contact animal control to assist with capturing the animal and delivering it for testing.

Residents who may have come into contact with a skunk or any other animal that may be carrying rabies should call Boulder County Public Health at 303-441-1564. For questions about human contact with a skunk, call the Colorado Health Information Line at 877-462-2911.

For more information about rabies, visit boco.org/rabies.

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