Rabid skunk found in Christian County

CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Mo. Warmer weather is bringing out more wildlife, some of whom could be carrying infectious diseases.

A dog in Clever was bitten by a skunk that tested positive for rabies. Unfortunately, the dog was not vaccinated. Pets aren't the only ones at risk.

Christian County Health officials want to remind us that the danger of rabies is real.

"She's a pretty good challenge. She likes to run away every once in a while but thankfully she's never got too far. She's gotten after groundhogs, squirrels some stuff like that," said Daniel Shortt.

His Husky, Mishka, like every other dog, is curious. It's why he makes sure Mishka is up to date on all her shots.

"It's something all dog owners should do if you care enough about your dog. I want to take care of her the best I can," said Shortt.

A family pet in Clever wasn't as lucky.

"The dog was bitten by a rabid animal. That increases its risk, obviously, that it will contract rabies but there's no guarantee the dog is going to have rabies. The dog has been exposed to rabies," explained Cindy Bilyeu, Administrator for the Christian County Health Department.

She said pets aren't the only ones in danger.

"We have had a large number of people that have had to go through what people used to refer to as the rabies shots. That is not uncommon at all. We normally have about 10 cases a month come through here," said Bilyeu.

Heath officials said the threat is serious.

"It's one of those things. It's hard to have people take it seriously because it's rare, but the danger is huge," she said.

It's why Shortt takes every precaution to keep Mishka and himself safe.

"Keep her on a leash. Keep an eye out for wild animals and water," he said.

People living within a two mile radius of where the rabid skunk was found were notified of any threats.

Rabies is transmitted through saliva.

If you or your pets are exposed, get medical help right away.