Rabies, 2016: DCN - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Rabies, 2016

In Minnesota, the animal reservoirs for rabies are skunks and multiple bat species. Dogs, cats, and livestock are generally exposed to rabies through encounters with skunks. Vaccinating these domestic animals for rabies provides a buffer between wildlife and people. In 2016, 55 (2.6%) of 2,085 animals tested were positive for rabies. This is a nearly two-fold increase from 2014 (33 [1.4%]) and 2015 (28 [1.4%]) and more consistent with the number of positives seen from 2008 to 2013. The majority of positive animals in 2016 were bats (37/55 [67%]), followed by skunks (10/55 [18%]), cattle (4/55 [7%]), cats (2/55 [4%]), horses (1/55 [2%]), and foxes (1/55 [2%]) (Figure 5). There were no human cases of rabies.

rabid animals by county

From 2003 to 2016, 798 (2.4%) of 33,278 animals tested were positive for rabies. The median number of rabies positive animals identified annually was 57 (range, 28 to 94). From 2003 to 2016, 310/672 (46%) skunks, 55/795 (7%) cattle, 344/9,476 (3.6%) bats, 8/308 (2.6%) horses, 45/10,133 (0.4%) cats, 28/9,215 (0.3%) dogs, 0/1,054 (0%) raccoons, and 9/1,623 (0.6%) other animals (fox [4], goat [2], woodchuck, bison, deer) tested positive for rabies. Rabies in raccoons is rare in Minnesota. The last raccoon that tested positive for rabies was 24 years ago, and 1,054 raccoons have been tested from 2003 to 2016 with none positive for rabies. This is in contrast to the eastern United States, where raccoons are the most common source of terrestrial rabies.

Updated Tuesday, 19-Dec-2017 13:18:03 CST