Rabies, 2013: DCN - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Rabies, 2013

Rabies is caused by the rabies virus, an enveloped RNA virus from the Rhabdoviridae family and Lyssavirus genus. In Minnesota, the reservoir species are skunks and bats. Dogs, cats, and horses are generally exposed through encounters with skunks. Vaccinating them for rabies provides a buffer between wildlife and people.

In 2013, 63 (2.6%) of 2,398 animals submitted for testing were positive (Figure 5). This is decreased from 2012, when 72 (2.9%) of 2,518 animals submitted tested positive, but within the expected range. The majority of positive animals in 2013 were bats (36/63 [57%]), followed by skunks (20 [32%]), cows (3 [5%]), horses (2 [3%]), cats (1 [2%]), and goats (1 [2%]). There were no human cases of rabies.

figure five shows rabies cases by minnesota county

From 2003 to 2013, 682 (2.5%) of 26,890 animals tested positive for rabies. The median number of rabies positive animals identified annually was 63 (range, 39 to 94). From 2003 to 2013, 288/595 (48%) skunks, 49/663 (7%) cows, 264/7,360 (4%) bats, 40/8,456 (0.5%) cats, 28/7,406 (0.4%) dogs, and 0/875 raccoons that were submitted tested positive for rabies. Rabies in raccoons is rare in Minnesota: from 1988 to 2013, 3 raccoons tested positive for rabies; these occurred in 1989, 1990, and 1993.

Updated Friday, September 16, 2016 at 12:10PM