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Rabies confirmed in skunk in Leicester; residents suspect second case

LEICESTER — The only reported case of rabies in Leicester this year was on Ferson Road, but one resident said she dealt with two rabid skunks there this summer.
Linda Moore said Monday that one of her sons, Brian Moore, shot and killed a skunk that was chasing his dog at his neighboring Ferson Road home on Aug. 28. She said the skunk was tested by the Vermont Department of Health and confirmed rabid.
But two days before that incident, she said she’s sure she had a rabid skunk on her own property nearby as well.
“We definitely think it was rabid because it was running down the driveway in broad daylight,” Moore said. “And then, it started jumping at the chicken cage.”
Moore said her son grabbed his .22 rifle and went outside to confront the skunk.
“The skunk saw my son and it started coming toward him, and he shot it,” Moore said. “He got it with the first shot, but put a few more in it just to make sure it was dead.”
She said they buried the skunk in the woods, so it was never officially tested for rabies.
Two days later on Aug. 28, Moore said her son Brian shot a skunk that had sprayed his dog and was chasing it around the yard at his Ferson Road home. That skunk was tested by the state, and Department of Health confirmed it was rabid.
Towns across Vermont have reported cases of rabies each year, and the Department of Health website lists reported rabies cases by town going back to 2006.
Only a few cases of rabies have been reported in Leicester. A rabid cat was confirmed in 2006, and there wasn’t a case reported again until July 2015 when another rabid cat was confirmed.
There have been 6 cases of rabies reported in Addison County so far this year. In addition to the Sept. 19 skunk in Leicester, confirmed cases were Shoreham, raccoon, March 5; Bristol, red fox, March 6; Panton, raccoon, April 20; Ferrisburgh, raccoon, April 25; and Ferrisburgh, gray fox, Aug. 4.
Animals most often reported as contracting confirmed rabies include skunks, raccoons, foxes, woodchucks, bats, and cats. The occasional cow, horse or sheep have also been known to contract rabies.
To report a rabid animal or for any other rabies-related issues, call the Vermont Health Department Rabies Contact Number, 1-800-640-4374 (Vermont only) or 802-863-7240.
For more information on reported cases, treatment and other information, go to healthvermont.gov/disease-control/zoonotic-diseases/rabies.

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