EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) – A health alert from officials in El Paso County was sent out Friday evening tied to an attack by a pack of coyotes.
According to a release provided by El Paso County Public Health, a sheep tested positive for rabies after it was attacked by coyotes. The attack happened on Aug. 4 at a property in the Elbert, Black Forest area.
“Public Health is asking citizens in the Elbert, Black Forest area to be vigilant of wild animals, especially coyotes, bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes. It is important for people bitten or scratched by a wild animal to contact their doctor and Public Health immediately. Preventive vaccination is available for people known or suspected to have been in contact with a rabid animal,” Public Information Officer Natalie Sosa wrote in a release.
The pack of coyotes was described as “aggressive” in the release sent out by Sosa.
Take these precautions to prevent rabies:
-Vaccinate your pets against rabies by using a licensed veterinarian. Rabies shots must be boosted, so check your pet’s records or talk to your veterinarian.
-When walking or hiking with your dog, protect them and wildlife by keeping your dog on a leash.
-Keep cats and other pets inside at night to reduce the risk of exposure to other domestic animals and wildlife. Keep dogs within your sight (in a fenced yard, or on leash) during the day while outside.
-Make sure outdoor fencing is secure from wandering wildlife
-Contact your veterinarian promptly if you believe your pet has been exposed to a wild animal.
-Do not touch or feed wild animals. Wild animals such as skunks and foxes adapt to residential environments if food is available – please do not leave pet food outdoors.
-If people or pets are bitten or scratched by a wild or unknown animal, call your doctor and report to El Paso County Public Health’s bite report portal.
How to recognize sick wildlife:
-Healthy wild animals are normally afraid of humans.
-Sick animals often do not run away when spotted by people.
-Wildlife suffering from rabies will often act aggressively and violently approach people or pets.
-However, sometimes rabid animals are overly quiet and passive and want to hide. If they are hiding, leave them alone. Rabid wildlife might also stumble or have trouble walking.
ABOUT RABIES FROM EL PASO COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH:
Rabies is a virus that is transmitted by mammals. Rabies affects the brain and other parts of the central nervous system, causing brain swelling and damage, and is nearly always fatal once symptoms appear. Rabies spreads primarily through the bite of rabid animals, via infected saliva. Rabies can also be spread when saliva from an infected animal gets into open wounds, cuts or enters through membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth.
For more information, visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org
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