Rabies clinic set for San Benito

SAN BENITO — Rabies is usually spread through an animal bite. Animals most likely to spread rabies in the U.S. include bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks and raccoons.

To save your pets from this deadly disease, the City of San Benito and San Benito Animal Clinic will be hosting a rabies clinic July 15.

For $7 per pet, cat or dog, you can prevent rabies in your pets.

The animals must be at least 3 months old to receive the vaccination.

Animals that receive vaccinations will also get registration tags in accordance with the city ordinance. Pet owners must show a current utility bill and photo ID to participate in the clinic.

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes.

The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.

The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to those of many other illnesses, including fever, headache and general weakness or discomfort.

As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing and hydrophobia (fear of water).

Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.

A vaccine can prevent infection.

Although the majority of rabies cases occur in wildlife, most humans are given rabies vaccine as a result of exposure to domestic animals. This explains the tremendous cost of rabies prevention in domestic animals in the United States.

While wildlife are more likely to be rabid than are domestic animals in the United States, the amount of human contact with domestic animals greatly exceeds the amount of contact with wildlife.