Rabies cases are spiking in Missouri this year. State health officials are urging people to vaccinate their pets and see a doctor for any animal bites.
Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Howard Pue, says Missouri already has had more cases than it usually has for an entire year. He says the department has found 62 rabid animals so far this year. “Usually in an entire year, Missouri sees…about 50 rabid animals,” he says, “So we’re obviously quite a bit above that.”
About 75% of Missouri rabies cases are in bats. Most of the rest of the cases are in skunks although one case was found this summer in a cat.
He says rabies is a year-around threat in Missouri although it’s more likely to be seen in the spring and summer. He says a rabid cow was found last January.
“Any time you’re bitten by a mammal, a wild animal, a stray dog or cat…you always want to check it out with a physician,” he says.