Rabies, 2014: DCN - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Rabies, 2014

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

In 2014, 33 (1.4%) of 2,312 animals submitted for testing were positive for rabies (Figure 4). This is decreased from 2013, when 63 (2.6%) of 2,398 animals submitted tested positive for rabies, but within the expected range. The majority of positive animals in 2014 were bats (27/33 [82%]), followed by skunks (3/33 [9%]), cattle (1/33 [3%]), cats (1/33 [3%]) and foxes (1/33 [3%]). There were no human cases of rabies.

From 2003 to 2014, 715 (2.5%) of 29,202 animals tested positive for rabies. The median number of rabies positive animals identified annually was 61 (range, 33 to 94). From 2003 to 2014, 291/618 (47%) skunks, 50/696 (7%) cattle, 291/8,139 (4%) bats, 41/9,072 (0.5%) cats, 28/8,066 (0.4%) dogs, and 0/921 (0%) raccoons that were submitted tested positive for rabies. Rabies in raccoons is rare in Minnesota. From 1988 to 2014, 3 raccoons have tested positive for rabies; these occurred in 1989, 1990, and 1993. Two human cases have occurred in Minnesota in the last 20 years.

figure five shows rabies cases by minnesota county

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