[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16x9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1375396870&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4186269&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1375396870 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The number of rabies cases in Central Alabama is on the rise.
Since January, a total of 21 cases have been reported in Shelby, St. Clair and Chilton Counties.
Of the 21 infected animals, 18 were raccoons. The other animals were a dog, a cat and a fox.
Experts say the rise in cases is likely due to the increase in the raccoon population.
Fifteen of the rabies cases were reported in Columbiana and surrounding areas.
Four cases were reported in the Leeds and Moody area, while two have been reported in Clanton.
Anyone who thinks they have come across an infected animal can call the rabies hotline at 1-888-RABIES-4.
Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42