RIPLEY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has placed Ripley County under a rabies alert.
According to Representative Steve Cookson, a dog from Ripley County tested positive for rabies on May 22. The dog belonged to a resident and was not vaccinated against rabies.
He said a dead skunk was found in the pen with the dog in late April and several weeks later the dog developed symptoms consistent with rabies. Later, it tested positive for the disease.
The rabies alert was effective on May 27.
Cookson said other unvaccinated dogs on the property had been immunized and placed under quarantine. One person exposed to the rabid animal is receiving the anti-rabies series of shots.
The rabies alert will be lifted after 90 days if rabies activity is not identified in any domestic animals or in a significant number of wild animals.
Because rabies in a domestic animal represents a serious and imminent public health threat, Cookson said a rabies alert was issued.
In 2014, a total of 27 rabid animals were detected, including nine skunks, 16 bats and two cats. Missouri has averaged about 50 rabid animals per year over the past 10 years, primarily involving bats and skunks, but also including domestic species such as cats, dogs, cattle and horses.
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