According to a press release from the Augusta Police Department, the Maine Centers for Disease Control have identified a positive rabies case in a skunk.

The diagnosis was done through lab testing.

Officials are asking people on Northern Avenue in Augusta to be wary of wild animals in the area.  Never approach a wild animal and be especially concerned if the animal is acting strangely.

According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services website,

Rabies is a disease that is caused by a virus. It affects the brain and spinal cord and can cause death if left untreated. Rabies in people is very rare in the United States, but rabies in animals - especially wildlife - is common in most parts of the country including Maine. An animal with rabies is called a "rabid" animal.

The rabies virus is spread when infected fluids enter the bloodstream.  The virus lives in the saliva, brain and spinal cord (neural tissue) of infected animals.  When a person or animal is bitten or scratched by an infected animal, or if these infected fluids come into contact with a person's mouth, nose, or eyes, the infection can enter the body.

The most common animals affected by rabies are raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats.  Other smaller animals, like mice and rats, can have rabies, but it is less common.

Get more details about rabies HERE

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