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  • Author or Editor: Bonny C. Mayes x
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Objective—To obtain epidemiological information on rabies in bats in Texas.

Design—Epidemiological study.

Sample—Laboratory reports of bats that had been submitted for rabies testing in Texas from 2001 through 2010.

Procedures—Laboratory reports were reviewed to obtain information on seasonality of rabies in bats; distribution, species, and rabies virus variants of rabid bats; and human and domestic animal exposures to rabid bats.

Results—The number of rabid bats during the first 5 years of the study period remained static until a > 2-fold increase in 2006; during the subsequent 4 years, the annual number of rabid bats remained at this higher level, including a peak in 2008. The highest proportions of rabid bats were seen in late summer and early fall. The Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) was the most often affected species. Additionally, the rabies virus variant associated with the Brazilian free-tailed bat was the most prevalent. The percentage of rabid bats from urban areas was greater than that from rural areas. Dogs and cats were the domestic animals most frequently exposed to rabid bats. Most humans exposed to rabid bats did not report a known bite or scratch. The highest numbers of humans exposed to rabid bats were males between 11 to 15 years old.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Information on the epidemiology of rabies in bats and the epidemiology of exposures to rabid bats may be useful in planning and implementing local, state, and national rabies control and prevention campaigns and in encouraging rabies vaccination of domestic animals.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association