Vets, health department put out rabies warning

Much like last year, rabies cases are on the rise again in Nebraska for 2013.

Scotts Bluff County Health Director Bill Wineman says 13 cases have been reported statewide so far this year, with one confirmed case in Scotts Bluff County in March. There were 53 reports statewide in 2010, 35 in 2011 and 59 cases in 2012. Wineman is urging the public to use caution when encountering bats, skunks and foxes and to avoid domestic animals that are behaving erratically. However, Wineman says the cases in the panhandle recently have mainly involved infected skunks.

Wineman says cows and horses can also become infected, so ranchers and others who come into contact with these animals should be very cautious if the animal is exhibiting unusual symptoms or behavior. Wineman encourages livestock owners to talk to their veterinarians about vaccinations, considering local skunk populations.

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