SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia wildlife authorities say an Eastern Milksnake in Kanawha County has tested positive for snake fungal disease in the first contemporary occurrence in the state.

Kevin Oxenrider, Division of Natural Resources wildlife biologist, says dramatic declines in snake populations, particularly rattlesnakes farther north, have been linked to the disease.

The juvenile milksnake had crusty scales and abrasions on its head.

State authorities say it doesn’t appear to be dangerous to people, but they are asking that anyone who captures snakes, whether with a hook, tongs or by hand, use bleach or disinfectant afterward to ensure killing any fungus.

Anyone who sees clinical signs of the disease on a snake — swelling, crusty scabs or open wounds on the skin — is asked to contact the division.