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The Boston Globe

Metro

Rabid skunk found in West Roxbury

West Roxbury residents are being warned about rabies after a skunk in the neighborhood tested positive for the disease.

Boston Animal Control workers captured the animal Saturday near Stimson Street after a resident reported it was acting strangely, said McKenzie Ridings, spokeswoman for the Boston Public Health Commission. It was euthanized that day and later tested positive for rabies, Ridings said.

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The health warning was issued Tuesday. The commission’s infectious disease outreach team posted fliers in the neighborhood Wednesday.

The commission is warning residents that anyone who came into physical contact with the skunk is at risk of contracting rabies, which, if left untreated, can be fatal.

“If someone believes they came into contact with it, they can call the Boston Public Health Commission,” Ridings said, “and if they believe that their pet had physical contact . . . or has recent or unexplained wounds, they should call their veterinarian.”

One dog came into contact with the skunk but was up-to-date on its vaccines and is not at risk, Ridings said.

“There is wildlife through the city of Boston. We can’t necessarily predict what’s rabid and what’s not,” Ridings said, adding that residents should ensure that pets are vaccinated and that trash is put away, so that it is not accessible to animals.

Anyone concerned about possible contact with the skunk is urged to call the health commission at 617-534-5611.

“We’re hoping we don’t see any more [rabid animals]” Ridings said, “but we do have preparations in place.”

Kiera Blessing can be reached at kiera.blessing@globe.com.
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