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Rabies, 2009

Rabies is caused by the rabies virus, an enveloped RNA virus from the Rhabdoviridae family and Lyssavirus genus. The virus is highly antigenic, only infects mammals, and has been identified worldwide. All warm-blooded mammals are susceptible to rabies but infection is dependent on the viral variant, the amount of virus inoculated, and the site of the bite. In Minnesota, the reservoir species are the skunk and multiple species of the bat.

In 2009, 69 (2.8%) of 2,433 animals submitted for testing were positive for rabies (Figure 5). This is similar to 2008, when 70 (2.3%) of 2,985 submitted animals tested positive for rabies. The majority of positive animals in 2009 were skunks 27/56 (48%), followed by cattle 3/51 (6%), bats 29/789 (4%), horses 1/13 (8%), dogs 4/644 (0.6%), and cats 5/716 (0.7%). No raccoons, (0/72) tested positive for rabies. There were no human cases of rabies.

The median number of positive animals reported annually from 1998 to 2007 was 69 (range, 39 to 94). From 2003 to 2009, 207/407 (51%) skunks, 141/4,205 (3%) bats, 23/4,881 (0.5%) dogs, 23/5,586 (0.4%) cats, 34/415 (8%) cattle, and 0/588 raccoons submitted and tested were positive for rabies. From 1988 to 2002, three raccoons tested positive for rabies; these occurred in 1989, 1990, and 1993. Presumably they were infected with one of the two skunk strains of rabies endemic in Minnesota.

Rabid Animals by County

Updated Friday, November 19, 2010 at 03:16PM