Categories: Infectious Diseases
The number of rabies cases in San Antonio have been increasing in the last year. The heavy rain we received earlier this year is partially to blame as large amounts of rain push wild animals into the city. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services- Rabies Summary Report, there were 525 cases of Rabies documented in Texas in 2014, most of which were in bats. This year, Bexar County has seen a spread from the far Northwest area of San Antonio were earlier this year, reports of rabies in a skunk, bat, and kitten were reported. Last week, the city confirmed its first case of rabies in a family dog in 30 years.
How is rabies transmitted?
Any infected mammal can spread the rabies virus through their saliva. In many cases it is transmitted through a bite or open wound. Even if an infected animal is deceased, it can spread the virus if it comes into contact with another animal.
Protecting yourself and your family
Rabies can be transmitted to humans and animals alike. The best thing you can do is to vaccinate your pets for rabies routinely. Keeping them protected will also help to keep you protected.
There are two options for dog and cat rabies vaccinations – a 1 year and a 3 year vaccine. Puppies and kittens should always have a 1 year vaccine before having the option for a 3 year vaccine.
What to do if you or your pet has come into contact with an infected or suspicious animal
Seek medical attention from a healthcare provider right away if you are bit by an unknown animal. You should also seek veterinary care for your pet if he or she is bit by an unknown animal or has come into contact with a deceased animal such as a bat or possum. Contact City Animal Control Services so that they may catch and quarantine the animal in question and possibly test it for Rabies.