First rabies case of 2017 in southwest Nebraska confirmed

ealth Department (SWNPHD) has confirmed the first positive rabies case in Nebraska for the year. “In 2016, a total of 19 confirmed rabies cases occurred in Nebraska,” states Melissa Propp, RN, Surveillance Coordinator at SWNPHD. “Southwest Nebraska had recorded 16 percent of the states total. We had 25 percent of the state cases in 2015 and continue to be an area of elevated concern.”
    This case of rabies involves a skunk and is located in Furnas County.
    “Rabies is a deadly virus infection that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals,” explains Propp.
    People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies. Any wild mammal, like a raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, or bat, can have rabies and transmit it to people.
    According to the Center for Disease Control, rabies is a medical emergency. Any wounds should be immediately washed with soap and water. They should also receive medical attention from a health care professional.
     “Vaccination is the best protection for keeping your pets safe,” states Propp. “We recommend that residents contact their local veterinarian to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current. In addition, please be careful around stray or strange animals. If an animal bites you, and it is safe to do so, catch the animal and contact your veterinarian for testing. It may save you the pain and cost of Rabies Vaccinations.

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