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Rabid skunks could be roaming Flagstaff neighborhoods

Health officials urge locals to be wary of the animals after one person was exposed to the rabies virus.
A new method of placing skunk bait that's been vaccinated for Rabies is being implemented in Flagstaff as a measure to prevent a future outbreak of the disease.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Flagstaff residents have another reason to avoid skunks aside from their smelly fumes. 

Several skunks around the city have recently contracted rabies, a virus that causes severe damage to the central nervous system and can turn fatal once symptoms appear. 

According to Coconino County Health and Human Services, at least one person has been exposed to a skunk with rabies and is undergoing medical treatment to suppress the virus. 

The county encourages Flagstaff residents to stay away from wildlife and ensure pets have gotten vaccinated for rabies.

If a resident finds a dead skunk in their yard, the county instructs them to leave the carcass alone and report it to authorities.

Human exposure to rabies is relatively rare but dogs and cats are considered more vulnerable to contract the virus.  

Bats, skunks, and foxes are the main animal sources of rabies in Arizona.

Strange wildlife encounters can be reported to the city of Flagstaff by calling 928-774-1414. 

RELATED: 2 dogs attacked by rabid bobcat on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation

RELATED: 77-year-old woman mauled to death by dogs in Phoenix; dog owner arrested

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