Virginia reports 25-year rabies high

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Richmond, Va. - 3/11/08 - Reported cases of animal rabies in the state have spiked to their highest number since 1982, according to Virginia health officials.

Richmond, Va. - 3/11/08 - Reported cases of animal rabies in the state have spiked to their highest number since 1982, according to Virginia health officials.

Although most of the 730 rabies cases involved wild animals, with the highest number among raccoons, almost 40 cases involved dogs and cats, according to the Virginia Department of Health report.

The numbers should serve as a reminder to properly vaccinate pets, as most of the canine- and feline-reported cases involved strays that were not vaccinated, says State Health Commissioner Karen Remley.

Per Virginia law, dogs and cats age 4 months and older must be vaccinated against rabies.

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