Health Officials Report Increase in Rabies

Mike Seals - September 23, 2020 10:32 pm

Health officials in Oklahoma report an increase in rabies in Oklahoma with 38 cases thus far in 2020 compared to an average of 36 per year during the previous four years.

A rabid bat was found earlier this week near Bell Cow Lake in Chandler, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Oklahoma City, according to Oklahoma State Department of Health veterinarian LeMac’ Morris. It was the second rabid bat found in the area in the past six weeks.

Morris said it isn’t known why there is an increase in rabies, but the rise should prompt pet and livestock owners to have their animals vaccinated.

Skunks and bats are the most-likely animals in Oklahoma to contract rabies, and 27 of the 38 confirmed cases as of Tuesday have been skunks, Morris said.

The health department also reported four rabies cases in bats and in cows this year, two cases confirmed in pet cats and one in a bobcat.



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