Kansas residents are being warned to be cautious around skunks during an uptick in rabies cases.
Kansas State University’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory says 70 rabies cases have been reported this year – the same number as all of last year.
Skunks accounted for almost 75 percent of the rabies cases. A Kansas State lab diagnostician says most of the other cases probably began with a rabid skunk biting another animal.
Starting in 1997, the Kansas State lab saw a rise in rabies cases, peaking at 164 cases in 2003 before declining over the past decade.
The last time someone in Kansas died from rabies was in 1968.