Rabies, 2017: DCN - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Rabies, 2017

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 2017, 35 (1.8%) of 1,946 animals tested were positive for rabies. This is a nearly one and a half-fold decrease from 2016 (55 [2.6%]) and more consistent with the number of positive animals seen in 2014 and 2015. The majority of positive animals in 2017 were bats (20/35 [57%]), followed by skunks (10/35 [28.6%]), and there was one positive cow (1/35 [2.8%]), cat (1/35 [2.8%]), horse (1/35 [2.8%]), fox (1/35 [2.8%]) and raccoon (1/35 [2.8%]) (Figure 5). There were no human cases of rabies.

From 2003 to 2017, 833 (2.4%) of 35,224 animals tested were positive for rabies. The median number of rabies positive animals identified annually was 57 (range, 28 to 94). From 2003 to 2017, 320/698 (45.8%) skunks, 56/834 (6.7%) cattle, 364/10,080 (3.6%) bats, 9/323 (2.8%) horses, 46/10,626 (0.4%) cats, 28/9,831 (0.3%) dogs, 1/1,106 (0.1%) raccoons, and 10/1,721 (0.6%) other animals (fox [5], goat [2], woodchuck, bison, deer) tested positive for rabies. In contrast to the eastern United States, where raccoons are the most common source of terrestrial rabies, rabies in raccoons is rare in Minnesota. Previous to this 2017 case, the last rabid raccoon identified in Minnesota occurred in 1993.

rabid animals by county

Updated Thursday, 24-Jan-2019 08:38:00 CST