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Rabies continues to spread across the state, with twelve more counties infected in 1997. Only twenty-two counties out of one hundred have no confirmed cases. Raccoons continue to be the prime carrier of the disease.
A rabies epidemic in Florida is spreading north, putting wildlife, especially raccoons, in North Carolina at risk to infection.
Caused by raccoons and other wild animals like bats and foxes, the worst rabies outbreak since the 1950s is spreading across the state. By July, 1995, 252 animals - 204 of them raccoons - were confirmed rabid, compared to 89 at the same time in 1994.
Cases of rabies have increased from 71 in 1993 to almost 900 in 1997. Although cats, rabbits, beavers, and cows have been found to be rabid, the prime carrier of the disease continues to be raccoons.
Rabies can wreak havoc on animals and humans alike; this article explains the causes, effects, and preventative measures that can be associated with the rabies virus.
The spread of rabies can be easily deterred by annually inoculating household pets, such as dogs and cats.