TX, AR, see record rabies cases
Rabid animals are on the rise in Arkansas and Texas, according to local news sources.
Austin, Texas, TV station KXAN reports that several counties have seen a rise in rabies cases so far this year. In Burnet County, to the northwest of Austin, cases spiked to 19 so far this year, compared to nine reported cases last year. The majority of the rabid animals have been skunks. The station also said that an nearby county, the number of infected animals has jumped to 48 for the year already. In that county, Williamson, 20 bats, 26 skunks, and two raccoons have been confirmed rabies cases.
Meanwhile, Reuters news agency is reporting that rabid skunks are also on the rise in Arkansas. The state is already well ahead of its average of 32 rabid skunks per year, with 35 reported cases so far, according to the report. One county reported 20 cases, but officials say this rise could be due in part to an increased awareness campaign focusing on the virus.