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PUBLIC HEALTH REMINDER: KEEPING PETS CURRENT ON RABIES VACCINE IS IMPORTANT
(Placerville, CA) - El Dorado County Animal Services is reminding residents to keep pets current on rabies vaccines and notify Animal Services of any animal bite. According to Henry Brzezinski, Chief of Animal Services, El Dorado County is an officially declared rabies endemic area, as are all counties in California. "This means that rabies is always present in our County," said Brzezinski. "Every year we find rabid animals here, so vigilance is important."
Animal Services recently identified two skunks in the same general vicinity in the County that tested positive for rabies. One of the skunks was found in the 7600 block of Amalgam Street in El Dorado and one was found in the 7700 block of Crystal Boulevard in El Dorado. Last May, a rabid skunk was found in the 5600 block of Pony Express Trail in Pollock Pines.
In 2018, Animal Services identified seven animals in El Dorado County (four skunks and three bats) that tested positive for rabies. Historically, most of the rabid animals in El Dorado County are identified on the County's West Slope, with smaller numbers reported in the South Lake Tahoe area, according to Brzezinski.
Rabies is a virus spread through the bite and saliva of an infected animal. It is usually fatal to pets and humans if not treated shortly after exposure. Although any animal can become infected with the rabies virus, bats, skunks and fox are most commonly the animals found to have the virus. Comprehensive rabies vaccination programs in the United States have meant that rabies among domestic pets is uncommon. However, a domestic cat recently tested positive for rabies in Fresno County.
To prevent the spread of rabies:
For more information about rabies or Animal Services, visit www.edcgov.us/animalservices. To reach Animal Services by phone, call (530) 621-5795 in Placerville or at (530) 573-7925 in South Lake Tahoe.
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