Summary—During 2010, 48 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,154 rabid animals and 2 human rabies cases to the CDC, representing an 8% decrease from the 6,690 rabid animals and 4 human cases reported in 2009. Hawaii and Mississippi did not report any laboratory-confirmed rabid animals during 2010. Approximately 92% of reported rabid animals were wildlife. Relative contributions by the major animal groups were as follows: 2,246 raccoons (36.5%), 1,448 skunks (23.5%), 1,430 bats (23.2%), 429 foxes (6.9%), 303 cats (4.9%), 71 cattle (1.1 %), and 69 dogs (1.1 %). Compared with 2009, number of reported rabid animals decreased across all animal types with the exception of a 1 % increase in the number of reported rabid cats.
Two cases of rabies involving humans were reported from Louisiana and Wisconsin in 2010. Louisiana reported an imported human rabies case involving a 19-year-old male migrant farm worker who had a history of a vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) bite received while in Mexico. This represents the first human rabies case reported in the United States confirmed to have been caused by a vampire bat rabies virus variant. Wisconsin reported a human rabies case involving a 70-year-old male that was confirmed to have been caused by a rabies virus variant associated with tri-colored bats (Perimyotis subflavus).
Summary—During 2011, 49 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,031 rabid animals and 6 human rabies cases to the CDC, representing a 1.9% decrease from the 6,153 rabid animals and 2 human cases reported in 2010. Approximately 92% of reported rabid animals were wildlife. Relative contributions by the major animal groups were as follows: 1,981 raccoons (32.8%), 1,627 skunks (27.0%), 1,380 bats (22.9%), 427 foxes (7.1%), 303 cats (5.0%), 65 cattle (1.1%), and 70 dogs (1.2%). Compared with 2010, there was a substantial increase in the number of rabid skunks reported. Six cases of rabies involving humans were reported from California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and South Carolina. Three cases reported from Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York were determined to be a result of canine rabies virus variants acquired outside the United States.
Objective—To assess the epidemiology of rabies in rodents and lagomorphs and provide information that will enable public health officials to make recommendations regarding postexposure prophylaxis for humans after contact with these animals.
Design—Cross-sectional epidemiological analysis.
Sample—Rodents and lagomorphs submitted to state laboratories for rabies diagnosis from 1995 through 2010.
Procedures—Positive samples were identified by use of direct fluorescent antibody testing, typed by sequencing of viral genes, and quantified via titration in mice or cell culture.
Results—737 rabid rodents and lagomorphs were reported from 1995 through 2010, which represented a 62.3% increase, compared with the number of rabid rodents and lagomorphs reported from 1979 through 1994. The most commonly reported rodents or lagomorphs were groundhogs (Marmota monax). All animals submitted to the CDC for additional viral characterization were positive for the raccoon rabies virus variant. Infectious virus or viral RNA was detected in salivary glands or oral cavity tissues in 11 of 13 rabid rodents.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The increase in reported rabid rodents, compared with results of previous studies, appeared to be associated with spillover infections from the raccoon rabies epizootic during the first half of the study period. Analysis supported the assumption that rabies remained rare in rodents and lagomorphs. However, transmission of rabies virus via exposure to a rabid rodent or lagomorph may be possible. Given the rarity of rabies in these species, diagnostic testing and consideration of postexposure prophylaxis for humans with potential exposures should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
SUMMARY—During 2012, 49 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,162 rabid animals and 1 human rabies case to the CDC, representing a 2.1% increase from the 6,031 rabid animals and 6 human cases reported in 2011. Approximately 92% of reported rabid animals were wildlife. Relative contributions by the major animal groups were as follows: 1,953 raccoons (31.7%), 1,680 bats (27.3%), 1,539 skunks (25.0%), 340 foxes (5.5%), 257 cats (4.2%), 115 cattle (1.9%), and 84 dogs (1.4%). Compared with 2011, there was a substantial increase in the number of rabid cattle reported. One case of rabies involving a human was reported from California after the patient died abroad. The infection was determined to be a result of a rabies virus variant associated with Tadarida brasiliensis, with exposure occurring in California.
Summary—During 2013, 53 reporting jurisdictions reported 5,865 rabid animals and 3 human rabies cases to the CDC, representing a 4.8% decrease from the 6,162 rabid animals and 1 human case reported in 2012. Ninety-two percent of reported rabid animals were wildlife. Relative contributions by the major animal groups were as follows: 1,898 raccoons (32.4%), 1,598 bats (27.2%), 1,447 skunks (24.7%), 344 foxes (5.9%), 247 cats (4.2%), 86 cattle (1.5%), and 89 dogs (1.5%). One human case was reported from Maryland. The infection was determined to have been transmitted via organ transplantation. Infection in the organ donor, a North Carolina resident, was retrospectively diagnosed. Both the organ donor and the organ recipient were infected with the raccoon rabies virus variant. The third human case, reported by Texas, involved a Guatemalan resident who was detained while crossing the US border. The infection was determined to be caused by a canine rabies virus variant that circulates in Central America.
Objective—To determine percentages of domestic cats and dogs vaccinated against rabies, identify barriers to vaccination, and assess knowledge about rabies in a semirural New Mexico community after a skunk rabies outbreak.
Sample—366 residential properties in Eddy County, NM.
Procedures—The New Mexico Department of Health and CDC administered surveys and analyzed data.
Results—Individuals at 247 of the 366 residential properties participated in the survey. One hundred eighty of the 247 (73%) households owned a dog (n = 292) or cat (163). Cats were more likely than dogs to not have an up-to-date rabies vaccination status (prevalence ratio, 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.3 to 4.4). Cost and time or scheduling were the most frequently identified barriers to vaccination. One hundred sixty (65%) respondents did not know livestock can transmit rabies, 78 (32%) did not know rabies is fatal, and 89 (36%) did not know a bat scratching a person can be an exposure. Only 187 (76%) respondents indicated they would contact animal control if they saw a sick skunk, and only 166 (67%) indicated they would contact animal control if bitten by a dog they did not own.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings indicated that rabies vaccination prevalence among pet dogs and cats was low, despite the fact that the region had experienced a skunk rabies outbreak during the previous 2 years. In addition, substantial percentages of respondents did not have correct knowledge of rabies or rabies exposure.