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The City of Lubbock has issued a Health Alert after rabies was confirmed in a test. A skunk was reportedly found in western Lubbock County and tested positive for rabies. According to the City of Lubbock, this is the first reported case of rabies in Lubbock this year.

Humans can get rabies through an infected animal's saliva. As long as treatment starts before symptoms present themselves, illness can be prevented. However, according to the Lubbock Health Department, once a person has symptoms, the disease is nearly always fatal. That's why it is important that if you come into contact with an animal that has rabies, you should get medical attention as soon as possible.

It's also important, very important to vaccinate your pets. An animal with rabies, like a skunk, can infect other animals that haven't been vaccinated against rabies. The City of Lubbock suggests avoiding contact with coyotes, bats, foxes, raccoons, and skunks.

According to the City of Lubbock there are several precautions you can take to avoid rabies.

Residents are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance immediately.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, report the bite to Lubbock Animal Services at 806-775-2057 or 806-775-3357 so the animal may be placed in rabies observation or submitted for rabies testing.

Remember, it is against the law not to vaccinate domestic pets against rabies. It's also good for them.

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