Rabies, 2010

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. In Minnesota, the reservoir species are the skunk and multiple bat species.

In 2010, 59 (2%) of 2,506 animals submitted for testing were positive for rabies (Figure 4). This is similar to 2009, when 69 (3%) of 2,435 animals submitted tested positive for rabies. The majority of positive animals in 2010 were skunks, 24/53 (45%); followed by cattle, 4/58 (7%); bats, 20/771 (3%); cats, 8/758 (1%); and dogs, 3/667 (0.5%). No horses (0/17) or raccoons (0/69) tested positive for rabies. There were no human cases of rabies.

From 2003 to 2010, 19,682 animals were submitted for rabies testing. The median number of positive animals reported annually was 64 (range, 39 to 94). From 2003 to 2010, 231/460 (50%) skunks, 38/474 (8%) cattle,161/4,960 (3%) bats, 26/5,545 (0.5%) dogs, 31/6,341 (0.5%) cats, and 0/657 (0%) raccoons submitted and tested were positive for rabies. From 1988 to 2010, 3 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 Monday, 28-Nov-2011 14:10:34 CST