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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2010 Sep 15;237(6):646-57. doi: 10.2460/javma.237.6.646.

Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2009.

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Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


During 2009, 49 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,690 rabid animals and 4 human rabies cases to the CDC, representing a 2.2% decrease from the 6,841 rabid animals and 2 human cases reported in 2008. Approximately 92% of reported rabid animals were wildlife. Relative contributions by the major animal groups were as follows: 2,327 (34.8%) raccoons, 1,625 (24.3%) bats, 1,603 (24.0%) skunks, 504 (75%) foxes, 300 (4.5%) cats, 81 (1.2%) dogs, and 74 (1.1%) cattle. Compared with 2008, numbers of rabid raccoons and bats that were reported decreased, whereas numbers of rabid skunks, foxes, cats, cattle, dogs, and horses that were reported increased. Fewer rabid raccoons, compared with 2008, were reported by 12 of the 20 eastern states where raccoon rabies is enzootic, and number of rabid raccoons decreased by 2.6% overall nationally. Despite a 10% decrease in the number of rabid bats that were reported and a decrease in the total number of bats submitted for testing, bats were the second most commonly submitted animal, behind cats, during 2009. The number of rabid skunks that were reported increased by 0.9% overall. The proportion of rabid skunks in which infection was attributed to the raccoon rabies virus variant decreased from 473% in 2008 to 40.9% in 2009, resulting in a 12.7% increase in the number of rabid skunks infected with a skunk rabies virus variant. The number of rabid foxes increased 11.0% overall from the previous year. Four cases of rabies involving humans were reported from Texas, Indiana, Virginia, and Michigan. The Texas case represented the first presumptive abortive human rabies case, with the patient recovering after the onset of symptoms without intensive care. The Indiana and Michigan cases were associated with bat rabies virus variants. The human rabies case in Virginia was associated with a canine rabies virus variant acquired during the patient's travel to India.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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