KENNETT — A spike in animal rabies cases has triggered a warning from Missouri health officials to vaccinate pets and seek treatment for bites.
The Daily Dunklin Democrat reported there were 55 rabies cases in Missouri so far in 2009 by the end of September. The state says that's more than the total for an average year.
State public health veterinarian Howard Pue says there also has been a higher than normal number of rabid skunks this year.
Rabies is transmitted through bites. In Missouri, it's most often is seen in bats and skunks, and occasionally farm animals and pets.
The state says vaccinating pets, which can have contact with wild animals, provides a barrier between people and rabies.