The number of rabies cases in Arkansas has increased to 84 so far this year.
Pope, Johnson, Yale and Garland Counties are reported to have the most number of cases.
State Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Susan Weinstein, calls the increase very alarming and says pets and kids need to be protected.
“Our normal yearly average is about 50 rabid animals a year and we’re up to 84, but we’re not even half way through the year. So it appears that we’re on track to have a record year this year,” said Weinstein.
Dr. Weinstein says officials don’t know why we’re seeing so many more cases this year.
She reminds Arkansans to vaccinate pets and to avoid contact with bats and skunks that are out in day time.
“Rabies in Arkansas lives primarily in skunks and bats. It’s important to protect your pets and in doing that it protects people. They create a barrier between us and wildlife.”
There are four rabies cases in Pulaski County so far this year.