At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many major agencies took a head-in-the-sand approach to concerns about the potential for SARS-CoV-2 to infect different animal species. Fortunately, over the last year a considerable amount of work has been done to help figure out the range of species that are susceptible to this virus, and shed
Rabies in the news
I’m taking a Brucella break to post a few interesting rabies stories.
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).
This isn’t really new, as Arctic fox rabies is…
Leftover zoonotic disease Q&A, Part 1
I did a talk recently for Third Age Learning in Guelph, and there was an abundance of questions. I didn’t get through them all at the time, so I figured I’d address some of them here:
Do mice carry rabies?
Mice aren’t rabies reservoirs like raccoons, skunks or bats, as they don’t have a…
Wash your hands and save a skunk
Well, not really. Presumably most people don’t have direct contact with skunks; however, that doesn’t mean skunks can’t pick up viruses from us.
A study published in Zoonoses and Public Health (Britton et al. 2018) investigated human H1N1 influenza in wild skunks in the greater Vancouver, BC (Canada) area, following up on an…
Ontario rabies update
As expected, rabies continues to be an issue in Ontario following the emergence of raccoon rabies in the Hamilton area in late 2015, and a separate emergence of fox rabies northwest of there around the same time. Hopefully raccoon rabies will be eradicated, as it was the first time it entered the province (1999-2005), but…
Skunk + late vaccine + inflexibility = dead dog
A Brockton, MA dog was euthanized after being bitten by a rabid skunk, because of a combination of the skunk’s rabies diagnosis, a relatively minor lapse in the dog’s vaccinations, and regulatory inflexibility. The ten-year-old Schnauzer cross was bitten in its own yard, and the skunk was subsequently caught, tested and diagnosed as rabid.…
2012 US rabies recap
It’s that time of year again… time for the US annual rabies surveillance report in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Dyer et al 2013).
- There were 6162 cases of rabies diagnosed in animals in 2012. (This is a 2.1% increase from 2011, but I don’t put much stock
Rabid horses in Tennessee
Rabies is pretty rare in horses in North America, with only 37 reported cases in the US in 2010 and 1 in Canada in 2011 (the latest years for which data are available). So, finding two apparently unrelated cases of rabies in horses in the same area in the same month is pretty unusual and…
2010 Animal Rabies Summary
In Canada, rabies testing and surveillance is performed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). National data for 2010 are now available and indicate there were a small number of cases in domestic animals, with more in wildlife, for a total of 123 cases.
Dogs: There were three cases, all in Saskatchewan.
2009 US rabies recap
2009 animal rabies statistics have recently been published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Blanton et al 2010). Here are some highlights:
- 6690 rabid animals were identified, along with four human cases. (One of those human cases was associated with travel to India, as described as described in