Skunks account for half of rise in rabies cases

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The rate of rabies is up slightly in Minnesota this year over last, with roughly half of the new cases afflicting skunks.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that there are 25 cases of rabies thus far in 2013, up slightly from 2012's pace, which saw 79 in all.

In addition to 13 skunk cases,MPR reports rabies has been confirmed in eight bats, a dog, a cow, a horse and a goat. And the real rabies season doesn't get into full swing until late summer.

"When a skunk comes down with rabies, it acts rabid and it looks for things to bite," the state's public veterinarian tells MPR. "It will often bite dogs and horses and cows and other domestic pets. And if they're not vaccinated for rabies, then they come down with rabies and then they expose their owners."

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