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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2000 Dec 15;217(12):1799-811.

Rabies surveillance in the United States during 1999.

Author information

  • 1Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001 Apr 1;218(7):1097.


During 1999, 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico reported 7,067 cases of rabies in nonhuman animals to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a decrease of 11.2% from 7,961 cases in nonhuman animals and 1 case in a human being reported in 1998. More than 91% (6,466 cases) were in wild animals, whereas 8.5% (601 cases) were in domestic species (compared with 92.4% in wild animals and 7.6% in domestic species in 1998). No cases of rabies were reported in human beings in 1999. Decreases were evident in all major species groups, with the exception of cattle, sheep/goats, and swine. The relative contributions of the major groups to the total reported were as follows: raccoons (41.0%; 2,872 cases), skunks (29.4%; 2,076), bats (14.0%; 989), foxes (5.4%; 384), cats (3.9%; 278), cattle (1.9%; 135), and dogs (1.6%; 111). Reported cases (6) associated with the epizootic of rabies in raccoons in Ohio declined from the 26 cases reported in 1998. Fifteen of the 19 states where the raccoon variant of the rabies virus is enzootic reported fewer cases of rabies during 1999. Massachusetts and Rhode Island, states with enzootic rabies in raccoons, each reported more rabid skunks than rabid raccoons for the third consecutive year. In Texas, cases associated with the enzootic canine variants of the rabies virus remained low (10 cases), whereas cases associated with the gray fox variant of the virus increased (66). Cases of rabies in skunks decreased by 8.6%, compared with those reported in 1998. Michigan reported the largest percentage increase in rabid skunks (950.0%; 2 cases in 1998 to 21 in 1999). Cases of rabies in horses and mules declined 21%, from 82 cases in 1998 to 65 in 1999. Cases of rabies reported in bats (989) were similar in number to those reported in 1998 (992) and represented almost 14.0% of the total number of rabid animals reported during 1999. Reported cases of rabies in cats (278) and dogs (111) decreased by 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively, whereas cases in cattle (135) increased by 16.4%, compared with those reported in 1998.

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