Rabies Confirmed In NM

New Mexico – New Mexico health officials say a calf from Socorro County and a Grant County fox have tested positive for rabies.

The state Health Department is encouraging pet and livestock owners to vaccinate their animals to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Public health veterinarian Paul Ettestad says the confirmation of rabies in a calf shows the disease can spread into other animal species and be a threat to people, their pets and livestock.

Ettestad says tissue specimens from the calf will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the strain of rabies that infected it.

So far this year, 20 animals have tested positive for rabies in New Mexico. In 2008, there were 28 cases, including 18 foxes and one dog in the southwestern part of the state.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.