KINGMAN - The state is currently on its way to break its previous record for animals testing postitive for rabies, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The record of 169 animals was set in 2005. This year the department's lab had confirmed cases in 162 animals. Approximately 38 humans and 119 pets were exposed to the animals.
The department suggests that residents vaccinate their pets against rabies at three months old. Pet owners should also make sure the pets get booster shots when the animal turns one year old and every three years after.
Avoid touching or playing with an animal that looks sick.
Some animals will have difficulty walking, have foaming at the mouth, a hard time swallowing, seizures and sudden death.
Bats can also carry rabies. If you find a bat on the ground don't touch.
If you come across an animal displaying any of these symptoms, report it to wildlife officials or local animal control immediately. Do not attempt to handle the animal yourself.
If bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention.
For more information about rabies, call your local health department or the ADHS Vector-Borne & Zoonotic Disease Section at (602) 364-4562.