- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A skunk wandered into a California restaurant last week and bit a woman dining there on the foot, St. Mary’s animal control officers said after they shot and killed the animal.
The county health department reported Monday that tests showed the skunk was rabid.
The staff at the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant put a box overtop of the skunk after Thursday’s 3:30 p.m. incident, according to county officials, and an animal control officer used a catch pole to retrieve the skunk from under the box and take it to an area near the restaurant’s parking lot, where it was shot with a .22-caliber rifle.
Maryland’s department of mental health and hygiene alerted the county health department on Saturday that an examination of the skunk’s brain tissue determined that it had rabies, a spokesperson for the health department said, and the injured restaurant customer was notified of those findings. A communicable disease supervisor at the health department said medical treatment for someone exposed to rabies generally includes a rabies immune globulin injection followed by four or five vaccinations over the course of two to three weeks.
So far in 2012, seven of 24 animals’ remains sent for testing from St. Mary’s have tested positive for rabies, mostly involving cases from interaction between household pets and wild animals, according to the health department. Anyone bitten or scratched by a wild animal or noticing unexplained injuries on a pet should call the heath department at 301-475-4321.