1st rabid skunk since 1979 confirmed for LA County

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Updated: 6/30 10:09 pm

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — For the first time in 35 years, a skunk has tested positive for rabies in Los Angeles County.

Long Beach's health officer Dr. Mitchell Kushner tells the Los Angeles Times Monday that a woman noticed the skunk behaving erratically in her neighborhood and notified animal control. She said she didn't touch it.

Kushner says a state lab is determining how the skunk got the disease but it may have been bitten by a bat. Bats make up 80 percent of the state's rabies cases.

It's the county's first rabid skunk since 1979, but others have been found more recently in central and northern California, including a dead skunk that tested positive in June in Monterey County.

Skunks with the disease will appear disoriented and have crusty eyes and noses.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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