Rabies Prevention Should Not Be Overlooked

Rabies Virus
Rabies Virus

Since 2000, rabies has been confirmed in Wyoming bats, cats, cows, dogs, foxes, horses, squirrels and skunks. Veterinarian Dr. Karl Musgrave with the Wyoming Department of Health, reminds people about the importance of animal vaccinations. Musgrave said it is also important to report animal bites to local animal control officials and to follow recommended quarantine guidelines.

Treatment after rabies exposure to prevent illness involves five or six shots given over a month with a cost ranging from several hundred dollars to several thousand,”Musgrave said. “There is no question that preventing rabies exposure as much as possible in the first place is certainly the best strategy.” In 2010, 20 skunks, 12 bats and two calves tested positive for rabies in Wyoming.

So far in 2011 there have been 10 positive skunks and one calf. Musgrave noted the numbers of cases confirmed by testing are likely far lower than the true number of rabies cases. Some tips for preventing rabies are, report animals acting strangely to city or county animal control departments, and treat animal bites with soap and water and contact a medical professional immediately.

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