The number of animals testing positive for rabies in the state is up significantly from last year and authorities are warning Mainers to take precautions.

There have been 30 confirmed cases of rabies in animals between January and May this year compared to 35 cases in all of 2022, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Twelve of the 30 cases were reported in Cumberland County, officials said.

The positive cases were identified in raccoons, skunks, bats, a fox and a woodchuck, the statement said.

Animals infected with the disease may or may not display a variety of symptoms, but once symptoms begin the virus is almost always deadly, the CDC said.

The rabies virus lives in the saliva and neural tissue of infected animals and is spread when infected animals bite or scratch other animals or humans. Rabies is not spread in blood, urine, feces, skunk spray or dried saliva.


Raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats are the most common animals in Maine to contract rabies, but all mammals are able to, officials said.

In Maine, cats and dogs over the age of 3 months are required by state law to be vaccinated against the rabies virus.

A raccoon that tested negative for rabies was euthanized in late May after a woman brought it to an Auburn pet store and customers kissed it. There is no nonlethal test for the virus in animals.

To prevent the spread of rabies people should take precautions around unknown animals, the statement said. More information on rabies can be found on the Maine CDC’s website.

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