News coming out of Hunt County on Jan. 8, is that of a skunk testing positive for the rabies virus.
Greenville Animal Control Division received a call of a skunk fighting with a dog in the 2800 block of Polk St. The skunk was captured and sent for testing according to reports.
This is the first confirmed case of rabies in the Greenville area this year.
According to the Texas Department of State Health, they have full comprehensive information about rabies in Texas, including facts, prevention, vaccination, and control all of which can be found on their website.
“Each year, many cases of rabies develop among Texas wildlife and domestic animals. Rabies is a disease of overpopulation. It thrives where there is an abundance of wildlife, as there is in most counties in Texas,” the TDSH states.
Rabies Prevention in Texas includes vital information on what is rabies, what to do if you see an animal that presents signs on rabies, and so forth.
“All warm-blooded animals, including humans, are susceptible to rabies. In Texas, skunks, bats, coyotes, and foxes are the most commonly infected animals. This does not mean that wildlife eradication campaigns should be started. Wild species are highly beneficial in keeping pests under control. Still, it is wise to realize that they can carry rabies and that contact with them should be avoided at all times-especially with those who are obviously sick,” they further explained on what animals can contract the virus.
For now, the City of Greenville has urged residents to be vigilant and ensure a registered veterinarian vaccinates their pets against the rabies virus. By law, the rabies vaccination is required every year when given the one-year vaccine and every three years when given the three-year vaccine.
They also encourage people to keep an eye on their pets and to not let them roam free as well as ensuring not to leave any pet food or garbage out overnight as this can encourage wild animals to come onto your property. Humans should avoid contact with wild animals, do not try to hand feed them, and do not keep them as pets.
Lastly, do not touch any sick or injured animals. Instead, call animal control. Signs of rabies include a change in behavior, wild animals that seem friendly or tame, wild animals which are not typically seen in the day time hours, animals that have a hard time walking, eating, or drinking, and animals that bite or scratch an old wound until it bleeds.
Remember to report any animal bite or any possible rabies case to your local Animal Control. If they are unreachable outside of normal business hours, you should call your local law enforcement department’s non-emergency line to report what you have seen.