Tuesday, September 24, 2013

World Rabies Day

World Rabies Day is on Saturday, September 28. Why should Mainers know about this worldwide event? Because the rabies virus kills over 55,000 people worldwide each year and is found in Maine’s wildlife. We have seen 38 animals with rabies so far this year. Maine’s Health and Environmental Testing Lab (HETL) confirmed rabies in the following animals: 18 raccoons, 11 skunks, five bats (big brown), and four foxes (1 gray, 3 red). One of the rabid skunks was from Washington County, which is concerning because it was the first report of a rabid animal in that county in six years. Last year, Maine confirmed its first rabid dog since 2003. For these reasons, it’s more important than ever to learn how to stay rabies-free.

Before going on a brisk fall hike or hunting trip, read these simple tips for rabies prevention:
  •  Avoid contact with wildlife and any animal you don’t know
  •  Keep your pets up-to-date on rabies vaccination
  •  Report exposures to Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821
  •  Bat-proof your home
For more tips, visit our website at www.mainepublichealth.gov/rabies.

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