Big Horn County rabies quarantine extended

2014-03-14T02:45:00Z 2014-03-14T20:13:04Z Big Horn County rabies quarantine extendedBy JAN FALSTAD Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette

The Montana Department of Livestock has extended the quarantine order issued for Big Horn County by one day after two skunks tested positive for rabies.

That means the county will be under a 60-day quarantine that will end May 12. That date is subject to change.

All dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated a minimum of two weeks prior to traveling outside the Big Horn County.

Rabies is viral disease that can affect all mammals, including humans. The disease attacks the central nervous system through saliva of infected animals through bites or scratches. The disease is deadly, but preventable with vaccinations prior to infection.

Five dogs in Big Horn County are suspected of being infected and are being held for observation, the department said.

Rabies cases in Montana usually start in February and March, rise definitively in July and peak in August and September.

The department will be issuing more information about rabies next week.

In Montana, skunks and bats account for more than 90 percent of the reported rabies cases, according to the Department’s website: liv.mt.gov/default.mcpx

The telephone number is 406-444-9431.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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