Rabies in the United States and Puerto Rico, 2005

This is an excerpt from Equine Disease Quarterly, funded by underwriters at Lloyd's, London, brokers, and their Kentucky agents.


Equine Center

The December 15, 2006 edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported the annual summary of 2005 rabies surveillance in the United States and Puerto Rico (JAVMA 229:1897-1911). This summary provides a comprehensive evaluation of the status of this disease in multiple species throughout the country.

Figure 2 shows the locations of equine rabies cases in 2005. The 47 cases in horses and mules had increased from 43 in 2004 and included one case in Puerto Rico. Forty-nine states and Puerto Rico had cases of animal rabies. Only Hawaii had none. Rabies cases in domestic species (dogs, cats, cattle, horses/mules, sheep and goats) totaled 494. There were an additional 5,923 cases in wild animals.

All states except Hawaii, Arkansas, and Puerto Rico had cases of bat rabies, totaling 1,408, with Texas (257) and California (167) having the highest number of positives. One human case of rabies (bat variant) was reported from Mississippi.

These surveillance data indicate the need for continued vigilance in rabies recognition among domestic animals and vaccination of animals in high-risk areas.

Contact: Dr. Roberta M. Dwyer, 859/257-4757, rmdwye2@email.uky.edu, Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

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