Augusta residents are being warned not to interact with wild animals after a skunk tested positive for rabies. Credit: Pixabay

Augusta residents are being warned not to approach wild animals after a skunk tested positive for rabies.

The skunk was sent to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s animal testing lab, and results showed that the animal was rabid, according Haley Gauvin, a spokesperson for the city.

The skunk was recovered from the ​​Northern Avenue area.

Many Mainers are on alert after a Bowdoinham woman was  recently attacked inside her residence after a rabid raccoon came into her sun room through a pet door. She was bitten on the leg and is currently undergoing treatment after the animal tested positive for rabies.

Another suspected case of rabies was identified in Lewiston on Tuesday, according to a post on the Misfits Rehab Facebook page. The animal died of a seizure, a common sign of rabies, and its body is being sent to the Maine lab for rabies testing.

Although raccoons are the most common animals that transmit rabies to humans, all mammals can carry rabies and can pass the virus onto humans. A rabid raccoon, or other wild animal, will often be aggressive and act strange.

Animals get and spread rabies through bites and scratches and the saliva from an infected animal comes in contact with mucus membranes like the eyes or open wounds, even tiny ones.

A person can receive a series of rabies shots to prevent severe illness after coming in contact with a rabid animal, and household pets should be kept up to date on their rabies vaccinations.

More information on rabies can be found at the Maine CDC website.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.