I’m taking a Brucella break so here are a few interesting rabies stories.

More rabies in Nunavut

A rabies warning was issued to residents of Taloyoak, Nunavut in response to identification of rabies in ‘a number’ of dogs and foxes (I’m not sure what that number is).

It’s not new, and rabies is a concern is the territory. It’s also an issue for other areas in Canada since dogs are periodically shipped out of Nunavut into southern regions. Arctic fox rabies in endemic in the region and there is periodic spillover into dogs. Vaccination rates are variable in remote communities, increasing the risk. Multiple animals with rabies have been moved out of Nunavut in the past year to a couple provinces.

 

Skunk Bite Means Rabies Exposure

Skunks are a natural rabies reservoir in some regions, something that an Arizona man found out recently. He was bitten by a skunk, which was subsequently determined to be rabid. Why, exactly, he was close enough to a skunk to be bitten is another question, and one that wasn’t evident in the news articles I saw. I don’t think people need a reason beyond getting sprayed to stay away from skunk, but rabies is a good one.

 

Rabies Exposure Costs More Than A New Car

…depending on the type of car. A woman was bitten by a stray kitten she was trying to feed outside Everglades National Park (take home message #1…stay away from wildlife and stray animals). She underwent post-exposure prophylaxis at a cost of….$48512. (No, I didn’t misplace a decimal point). $46,222 of that was for the single immunoglobulin (antibody) injection. I don’t understand the US healthcare system but this seems crazy. It seems even crazier based on a statement that the cost would have “only” been $9900 if she was bitten a couple months later, after the hospital lowered its price. I guess someone made a nice profit off her rabies exposure.

 

Rabies Exposure from a Goat

Goats aren’t at the forefront of species I think about when someone says rabies, but like any other mammal, it can happen. A big concern about rabies in goats is the fact that they sometimes get handled by a lot of people. Recently, a rabid goat was identified in South Carolina, resulting in potential exposure of 9 people.