ALLEGHENY COUNTY (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) issued a rabies warning for Etna residents Friday.
The ACHD says a skunk that was struck by a vehicle on High Street on Wednesday tested positive for rabies. Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the Health Department, urges Etna residents, especially those near High Street, to avoid contact with wild animals. Residents are also reminded to have their pets vaccinated.
This skunk is the 15th rabid animal reported in Allegheny County so far this year. In August, a 30-year-old man was bitten by a rabid coyote in Lincoln Borough. In July, a stray kitten found in Robinson Township also tested positive for rabies.
Other rabies cases this year include 9 bats and 3 raccoons. In August, the ACHD distributed oral rabies vaccine baits throughout South Fayette Township in an attempt to combat the number of rabid raccoons.
Anyone who is scratched, bitten or exposed to saliva from a stray or wild animal should clean the wound or contact area with soap and water, seek emergency medical treatment and call the Allegheny County Health Department at 412-687-2243.
The ACHD says rabies is almost always fatal when left untreated. The rabies vaccine is highly effective when given promptly after an exposure.