States in fear at swarms of ra­bid skunks

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

DROUGHT-HIT states in Amer­ica are be­ing over­run by RA­BID SKUNKS who are show­ing up in city cen­tres look­ing for water.

Re­ports of huge num­bers of skunks – many car­ry­ing the deadly dis­ease – turn­ing up in cities and towns in Texas, Kansas, New Mex­ico, Ari­zona and a string of other south­ern states have all in­creased in re­cent months.

Epi­demi­ol­o­gist Lon Kightlinger – an ex­pert in life-threat­en­ing dis­eases – said: “Ev­ery­one is afraid of skunks be­cause you don’t want to get sprayed with their foulsmelling odour.

“You add ra­bies to the mix and it makes them even more un­de­sir­able.”

Ra­bies, a Latin word mean­ing ‘mad­ness’, is a vi­ral dis­ease that causes in­flam­ma­tion of the brain and hor­ri­ble death. It is usu­ally caught from a bite by an in­fected an­i­mal.

Ernest Oertli, of the Texas Depart­ment of State Health Ser­vices, said last week: “More skunks seem to have mi­grated to sub­ur­ban ar­eas where there is water.”

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