News Release                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 15, 2008
To: All Media Contacts
From: Clarissa Rangel-Paredes, M.P.A., Administrative Assistant II
Thru: Hector Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Health

Rabies Vaccination Clinic-Tomorrow

Laredo, TX - - The City of Laredo Health Department has scheduled it monthly Rabies Vaccination Clinic for Wednesday, April 16, 2008 from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Health Department (2600 Cedar Ave.)  in the Maryland Parking Lot located on the west side of the facility.  The cost is $12.00 per pet.

What is Rabies?  In animals, it is a disease that causes excitability, vicious attacks, biting, agitation, excessive salivation, inability to swallow or drink, convulsions and death- these symptoms are usually shown in end stage disease.

Because of rabies vaccination efforts of pets, human rabies is rare today.  However, it is still a threat especially in Laredo and along the Texas-Mexico Border and can be life threatening. 

In humans, rabies is spread through an infected animal (coyote, fox, bat).  It may take weeks or even a few years for someone to show symptoms after infected but usually people start to show signs of disease on (1) to three (3) months after the infection.  Sign and Symptoms can range from fever/headache to nervous system signs (confusion, sleepiness, or agitation).  It is very important to talk to your doctor or health care provider right away if any animal bites you, especially a wild animal.

What you can do to help prevent the spread of rabies:

-Be a responsible pet owner:  Keep all pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) appropriately vaccinated each year

-Avoid contact between pets and wild animals.  If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately

-Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce unwanted pets that may also server as a potential focus of infection

-Avoid direct contact with unfamiliar animals, Do not handle, feed, or existentially attract will animals with open garbage cans or litter

-Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.  Do not try to nurse sick animals to health.  Call Animal Control for guidance.

-Tech children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic

-Call the City of Laredo Health Department-Animal Control Office to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood

Please bring your dogs on a leash and cats in a pillowcase.

In addition distemper/parvo shots will be available upon request.

For more information, please contact the Animal Control Program at 956-795-4902 or 956-4900.