The tenth case of rabies in Houston County has been confirmed. According to officials the numbers are only likely to increase.
Public health environmentalist explained that rabies goes in cycles and officials are seeing more cases earlier this year than in the past.
Southeast Alabama is a hot spot for rabies infected animals, that's according to Doug Turnbull of the Houston Co. Health Dept.
“Rabies is a neurological virus. It affects the brain, the brain stem, spinal fluid. It begins with flu like symptoms and muscle disorder and lack of muscle control. Possibly swelling of the brain. Eventually, if left untreated, it becomes fatal,” said Turnbull.
There are several ways to protect your family's health.
Turnbull said, “In Alabama, it's the law to vaccinate a cat or dog three months or older by the law. As for wild animals, advise your children do not pet them, pick them up or bring them home.”
Rabies case has been found in the Dothan city limits as well as the surrounding areas. Now, officials are telling us to be more aware of wilderness areas - that's where warm blooded creatures live. The top five animals to be aware of are raccoons, foxes, bats and cats n dogs.
“We've had one in Geneva Co. where the dog was not vaccinated and had to be put down. Our most recent was in Houston Co., the dog was not vaccinated and had to be put down. There's just not other alternative that's always our recommendation by the Health Dept. even if it's not up to date with its vaccination,” said Turnbull.
Houston County is offering an in-expensive way to vaccinate your cats and dogs this weekend.
Anti-rabies clinics will be held this Saturday, May 13 from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
Local veterinarians will be available at several different locations in the county. Each vaccine costs $8.