Llano County Animal Control is urging pet owners to make sure pets are up to date on all vaccines, but especially rabies.
There have been ten cases of rabies confirmed this year; five of them in Kingsland.
So far, no domesticated animals have been reported with the disease; there have been six skunks, two raccoons, and one bat and one fox.
Last year, there were 26 confirmed cases according the State of Texas Department of Health website, out of 76 possible cases.
Bats and skunks are the most common animals found to have rabies in Texas. People can be exposed to rabies by an animal bite or scratch that breaks the skin or if an open wound comes in direct contact with an infected animal’s saliva. People also can be exposed if the saliva from
a rabid animal gets in a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
The most effective ways to prevent exposure to rabies are:
• Avoid feeding, touching or adopting wild animals, such as bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes.
• Report suspicious animals to local animal control.
• Vaccinate your family pets or livestock against rabies
• If you are bitten or if saliva from a suspected rabid animal comes in contact with your eyes, nose, mouth or a wound, wash the exposure site and seek medical attention immediately.
Rabies is almost always fatal in humans once symptoms occur. However, a series of post-exposure shots can prevent rabies if given in time.
For more information on rabies statistics, visit www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/rabies/cases/statistics/.