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Rabies season

THE KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT (KDHE) WANTS TO REMIND THE PUBLIC TO HAVE THEIR ANIMALS VACCINATED AGAINST RABIES BY A VETERINARIAN. WITH 13 ANIMALS TESTING POSITIVE FOR RABIES IN KANSAS SINCE JAN. 1, HEALTH OFFICIALS HERE ANTICIPATE AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF RABID ANIMALS THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST YEAR. THE 13 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.
SINCE 2007, THERE HAS BEEN AN AVERAGE OF 68 CASES OF RABID ANIMALS A YEAR IN KANSAS. VACCINES ARE AVAILABLE FOR DOGS, CATS, FERRETS, HORSES, CATTLE AND SHEEP. ANIMALS NEED TO HAVE PERIODIC BOOSTERS OF VACCINE TO MAINTAIN PROPER PROTECTION. THE RISK FOR HUMAN EXPOSURE TO RABIES IS REAL BUT PREVENTABLE. ANIMAL RABIES IS COMMON IN KANSAS, AND SKUNKS ARE THE ANIMALS MOST LIKELY TO HAVE THE DISEASE. HOWEVER, SKUNKS CAN PASS THE VIRUS TO OTHER ANIMALS, SUCH AS DOGS, CATS, CATTLE AND HORSES.