* Vaccinate animals against rabies.
* Seek treatment and report animal bites.
* Do not handle or feed wild animals.
* Do not nurse sick, wild animals back to health.
* Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
State health officials are investigating an increase in the number of rabies cases this year.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said 13 animals have tested positive for rabies in the state since the start of the year. That’s compared to just four confirmed cases at the same time in 2011.
The rabid animals included four skunks, two bats, two horses, two cows, one cat, one coyote and one raccoon. None of the domestic animals were vaccinated against rabies.
The KDHE wants to remind the public to have their animals vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian. Vaccines are available for dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, cattle and sheep.
"Vaccinating animals against rabies not only protects our pets, but our families as well," said Dr. Ingrid Garrison.
Experts said preventing rabies in humans depends on vaccinating domestic animals, eliminating human exposures to stray and wild animals, and providing exposed persons with prompt post-exposure rabies treatment.
For more information about rabies, contact your veterinarian, local health department or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 1-877-427-7317.