Rabies found in dead skunk in West Bloomfield: health officials

Oakland County health officials confirmed Thursday a case of rabies in a dead skunk found in West Bloomfield.

According to the Oakland County Health Division, rabies was found in a skunk found north of West 14 Mile Road, south of West Maple Road between Drake and Farmington Roads. So far in 2019, rabies has been confirmed in 11 skunks and four bats in Oakland County.

Health officials urge residents to keep their distance from wild animals including skunks, raccoons, bats, foxes and strays cats and dogs.


"Rabies is a fatal disease and there is no known cure. The best protection is to avoid contact with stray, wild, and dead animals,” Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County, said in a release. "Help keep pets protected by getting them vaccinated and avoiding encounters with unfamiliar animals.” 

Officials say rabies is found in the saliva of infected animals and can be spread through bites and scratches. It is not spread through sprays from skunks. If you or a pet has been exposed to a wild animal or an animal you do not know, immediately wash the area with soap and water thoroughly, then contact medical or veterinary help.

Call the Health Division at 248-858-1286 to report potential rabies exposure.

Photo art by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The Oakland County Health Division recommends the following to prevent rabies:

  • Have pets vaccinated regularly. This will protect them if exposed to animals with the disease and prevent them from becoming ill and infecting humans.
  • Do not handle stray, wild, or dead animals.
  • Keep pets indoors, supervise when outside, and always use a leash when walking to limit their exposure to wild animals that may be rabid.
  • Do not leave food or water outside for pets when unattended. 
  • Keep garbage securely covered, as these items may attract wild or stray animals. 

More information about rabies can be found on the Health Division’s website at www.oakgov.com/health or by contacting Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 or noc@oakgov.com.