Health officials have now confirmed 28 cases of rabies in Texas panhandle

Rise in rabies in the panhandle

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -More and more rabies cases keep popping up in the Panhandle, making it 28 total as of today.

Rabies is a dangerous virus that is spread through the saliva of animals sick with rabies.The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year occur in wild animals.

“So far this year we’ve had nine cases of rabies in Potter an Randall county, it’s up from five cases for all of 2018. So, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind the community to keep your pets vaccinated,” says City of Amarillo Director of Public Health Casie Stoughton

There have been a total of 28 cases in the Panhandle and it could continue to rise.

“Rabies goes in cycles and it basically in the Texas Panhandle attracts the skunk population. We’ve finally got some rain and forage out there. The skunk population has started building back up, and as it goes up we get more and more skunks and rabies jump from skunk to skunk to skunk. After this year, the skunk population will crash, in part to rabies killing them,” explains Noah’s Arc Pet Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Merten Pearson.

The Texas Department of Public Health has a few tips for everyone.

“It’s important to never touch or handle a unfamiliar animal. If you see a skunk in the daylight that’s not typical of skunks. It’s important not to try and nurse sick animals back to health. If you are concerned about an animal call animal management or animal control in your community,” says Stoughton.

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