More animals testing for rabies in East Texas

EAST TEXAS, (KTRE) - According to the State Health Department, they've had a number of rabies cases in bats and skunks -- which are popular wild animals in East Texas.

Rusk County shows the most with 20 confirmed rabid animals this year.

Houston County has confirmed eight skunk and one bat case and farther north in Bowie County, they've seen 12 skunk cases.

The state Health Department says we are on track to have more cases than ever this year, if the numbers continue.

Veterinarian Dr. Craig Wood says rabid animals are not only dangerous to pets, but to humans as well.

"It is a disease that it still there. It hasn't been lost in the history books. It is the same thing, so if humans were to contract it and it went undiagnosed, and went to the neurological form and showing symptoms, that's it."

Veterinarians say to keep animals that may be rabid, but do not shoot them in the head to kill them.  They need the brain in order to test the animal because rabies is a virus that attacks the neurological part of the brain.

Also, Vets say to keep your animals vaccinated on a yearly basis to protect them.