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El Paso County Colorado District 49

County issues to be addressed

In the wake of the recent outbreak of skunk rabies in El Paso County, constituents seeking clarification of the county’s rabies ordinance have contacted me. El Paso County has seen several recent cases of skunk rabies. This disease has not been in our county for many years, and with the confirmation of six positive cases of skunk rabies we have also seen the disease in a horse, cow and mountain lion. It is estimated that there has not been a horse death in Colorado due to rabies in about 50 years. These cases have not only been in remote eastern areas of the county, but within and around well-populated areas. At least three people have undergone rabies treatment as a result of possible exposure.Per resolution number 07-312, signed in 2003, El Paso County requires that every dog and cat in the county, not just within the leash law boundary, be vaccinated against rabies. Because of the seriousness of this disease and the large number of domesticated animals and livestock that are at risk, we ask folks to be vigilant in keeping skunks away from other animals, removing clutter and other possible habitat opportunities, which might bring skunks closer into contact. Also, use extreme caution around animals behaving strangely or aggressively.Remember that skunks are nocturnal, and daytime activity may indicate danger. If you come into contact with a dead animal, use protective rubber gloves or a shovel to remove it, and then double bag it. The virus resides in biological fluids, including saliva, which can be transmitted even in the absence of a bite. Make sure dogs and cats are vaccinated and consider vaccination for livestock.On a budgetary note, I would like to let everyone know that the next preliminary budget presentation for the El Paso County 2010 budget is tentatively set for Nov. 17, and the final budget approval by the Board of County Commissioners is set for Dec. 8, with a backup date of Dec. 10. The county will then submit to the state the final balanced budget, approved by the BoCC on Dec. 14. In August, the BoCC approved the first balanced preliminary budget for 2010. Anyone who wishes to participate in the budget discussions is welcome, and if you simply want to listen to the process and understand more about the 2010 budget, join us at 9 a.m. on those dates at the county office building, 27 E. Vermijo, Colorado Springs.Finally, due to a recent lack of H1N1 vaccine, the county health department has had to reschedule vaccination clinics in the county. If you are interested in receiving a vaccination for the H1N1 virus, the following is a list of clinics:Nov. 11, 10 a.m. at Coronado High School, 1590 W. Fillmore St.Nov. 13, 8:30 a.m. at New Life Church, 11025 Voyager ParkwayNov. 17, 4 p.m. at Harrison High School, 2755 Janitell RoadNov. 19, 10 a.m. at The Hangar, 6436 S. Highway 87, Suite RDue to limited supplies and difficulty receiving the vaccination, high-risk groups are the first group recommended for vaccination.

  • preschool children ages 6 months through 4 years
  • school age children and young adults ages 5 to 18 with chronic health conditions
  • health care workers with direct patient contact
  • pregnant women
  • parents and caretakers for children younger than 6 months
Health officials warn that availability of the vaccination is subject to change and ask that participants visit the health department’s Web site at before visiting a clinic.Amy LathenEl Paso County Commissioner, District 2520-6412

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