Author(s): Blanton JD, Dyer J, McBrayer J, Rupprecht CE
During 2011, 49 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,031 rabid animals and 6 human rabies cases to the CDC, representing a 1.9% decrease from the 6,153 rabid animals and 2 human cases reported in 2010. Approximately 92% of reported rabid animals were wildlife. Relative contributions by the major animal groups were as follows: 1,981 raccoons (32.8%), 1,627 skunks (27.0%), 1,380 bats (22.9%), 427 foxes (7.1%), 303 cats (5.0%), 65 cattle (1.1%), and 70 dogs (1.2%). Compared with 2010, there was a substantial increase in the number of rabid skunks reported. Six cases of rabies involving humans were reported from California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and South Carolina. Three cases reported from Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York were determined to be a result of canine rabies virus variants acquired outside the United States.