Rabid skunk discovered in Polk

Published 2:56 pm Thursday, September 6, 2012

First rabies case in 2012

The Polk County Animal Control captured a skunk in Mill Spring that tested positive for rabies this week.

The rabies case is the first this year and was located along Hwy. 108 in Mill Spring.

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Animal Control Officer Michael Herman said the skunk attacked farm animals and his office captured the skunk on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The skunk was sent to the state veterinarian lab in Raleigh for testing. Herman was notified yesterday, Sept. 6 that the skunk had rabies.

Herman said he plans to conduct a rabies clinic for residents in the affected area within two weeks. Once scheduled, the clinic will be publicized.

The last case of rabies in Polk County occurred on May 28, 2011 when a raccoon attacked three dogs in Green Creek.

On May 8, 2011, a rabid fox attacked two Green Creek residents in the Chesnee Road area.

Last year’s rabies cases were the first since Feb. 26, 2010 when a fox attacked two adults in Columbus.

Fox, coyote, skunk, opossum and raccoons are high carriers of the rabies disease and people should try to avoid contact with these animals.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain and is fatal if not treated. Rabies symptoms include malaise, headache and fever that progress into pain, violent movement and uncontrolled excitement, depression and hydrophobia.