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Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Nationwide, the vast majority of rabies cases reported each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. In California, skunks and bats are most frequently infected. More than 55,000 people, mostly in Africa and Asia, die from rabies every year -- a rate of 1 person every 10 minutes.
Rabies is always present in Monterey County (enzootic), particularly among skunks and bats. While the canine (dog) variant of rabies is not found in California, all domestic animals in Monterey County including dogs and cats are at risk of infection with skunk and bat variants of rabies.
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