Rabies May Be on the Upswing in Cumberland County
In the first seven months of this year, 47 cases of rabies have been reported in Maine. Every county in the state--with the exception of Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Franklin, and Aroostook--has reported cases of the disease. Well over 50 percent of the cases involved raccoons, while the rest of the cases were found among cats, foxes, skunks, a bobcat, and a horse. Officials note that the number of people requiring rabies shots has dropped from 128 in 1998 to 72 last year, but state epidemiologist Kathleen Gensheimer notes that many people still do not get their pets vaccinated and they ignore advice to stay away from strange animals.