The following photo of Eastern striped skunk was provided by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
AGAWAM, MA (WFSB) -
Patrons of Six Flags New England amusement park should be advised a rabid skunk was spotted at the facility earlier this week, and now state officials are warning people that came in contact with the animal to call the authorities.
An unidentified woman was visiting Six Flags, when she was bitten by a skunk on her foot, according to officials with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The skunk was taken to the Hinton State Laboratory Institute, where it tested positive for rabies.
The woman told authorities that she saw three skunks at the park, during her visit.
"We have the kids, the kids don't know, they might pet it," said Alfred Budda of Norwich, who was visiting the park Friday. "They could think it's anything, you know? How does it look? Does it look skunk or rabbit?"
Thrill-seekers at the park Friday told Eyewitness News they got no alerts from the park, but Massachusetts health officials are taking no chances.
State officials are advising anyone, who was scratched or bitten by a skunk from July 21 to July 31 at the park, to contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health or see a doctor.
"Only people with direct exposure to skunk saliva are at risk for rabies," said the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in a statement. "Without proper treatment for rabies exposure, rabies can develop, and the infection is virtually always fatal. Fortunately, rabies can be prevented by prompt administration of post-exposure vaccination."
Some customers told Eyewitness News that they smelled skunks while on the rides and in the parking lot. But, they said the news will not ruin their fun.
"Six Flags is still fun, skunks or not," said Kris Masilamani of Stamford. "It's part of life."
Anyone with any questions is asked to call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at 617-983-6800.
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