Rabies inside USA

Section NavigationHuman rabies surveillance

Cases of human rabies cases in the United States are rare, with only 1 to 3 cases reported annually. Twenty-five cases of human rabies have been reported in the United States in the past decade (2009-2018). Seven of these infections were acquired outside of the U.S. and its territories.

The number of human rabies deaths in the United States has been steadily declining since the 1970’s thanks to animal control and vaccination programs, successful outreach programs, public health capacity and laboratory diagnostics, and the availability of modern rabies biologics. Yet each year, hundreds of thousands of animals need to be placed under observation or be tested for rabies, and between 30,000 to 60,000 people need to receive rabies postexposure prophylaxis.

Date of onsetDate of deathReporting stateAge (y)SexExposure*Rabies virus variant†
16-Oct-184-Nov-18UT55MContactBat, Tb
15-Jul-1823-Aug-18DE69FUnknownRaccoon, eastern United States
28-Dec-1714-Jan-18FL6MBiteBat, Tb
6-Oct-1721-Oct-17FL56FBiteBat, Tb
5-May-1721-May-17VA65FBiteDog, India
25-Nov-151-Dec-15PR54MBiteDog-mongoose, Caribbean
17-Sep-153-Oct-15WY77FContactBat, Ln
30-Jul-1524-Aug-15MA65MBite, PhilippinesDog, Philippines
12-Sep-1426-Sep-14MO52MUnknownBat, Ps
16-May-1311-Jun-13TX28MUnknown, GuatemalaDog, Guatemala
31-Jan-1327-Feb-13MD49MKidney transplantRaccoon, eastern United States
22-Dec-1123-Jan-12MA63MContactBat, My sp
1-Sep-1114-Oct-11MA40MContact, BrazilDog, Brazil
21-Aug-111-Sep-11NC20MUnknown (organ donor)§Raccoon, eastern United States
14-Aug-1131-Aug-11NY25MContact, AfghanistanDog, Afghanistan
30-Jun-1120-Jul-11NJ73FBite, HaitiDog, Haiti
24-Dec-1010-Jan-11WI70MUnknownBat, Ps
2-Aug-1021-Aug-10LA19MBite, MexicoBat, Dr
23-Oct-0920-Nov-09VA42MContact, IndiaDog, India
20-Oct-0911-Nov-09MI55MContactBat, Ln
5-Oct-0920-Oct-09IN43MUnknownBat, Ps



Rabies is a Zoonotic disease which is transmitted from a rabid animal to other warm blooded animals, including humans and our pets.  The danger lies in the fact that this disease is lethal if not treated almost immediately after being infected.  

1. Why is World Rabies Day celebrated on 28 September every year?

This day celebrates the life and death of Louis Pasteur (27 December 1822 – 28 September 1895).

Louis Pasteur discovered that microorganisms cause disease and that one can create a vaccine from the weakened microbes of these organisms.  He was most famous for his vaccines developed for Rabies, Anthrax and Cholera.

He also developed a process which is known today as pasteurisation (The process of destroying bacteria by heating and cooling a liquid).

2. How many people die every year from Rabies?

The most deaths occur due to rabid pets, and on average 60,000 people die every year from rabies.

3. Which countries have the highest rates of rabid animals?

Rabies occurs mostly in Africa and Asia.

4. What exactly happens when a rabid animal bites a human?

The Rabies Virus is carried over to humans by means of the saliva of a rabid animal. This fatal virus attacks the central nervous system, which includes the spinal cord and the brain.  Symptoms can occur within a week and up to 7 years after being infected.  Rabies in humans is fatal if not treated immediately.

5. What are the symptoms of a human having rabies?

  • The area around the wound will tingle and become itchy. 
  • From there the classic virus signs of a high fever and aches will develop. 
  • Once the brain and spinal cord is infected, twitching, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, hallucinations, agitation, confusion, paralysis and often hydrophobia (fear of water) start to occur.

6. What are the most common symptoms of an animal having rabies?

  • Craving and eating of non-food items (aka Pika)
  • Seizures,
  • Dropped Jaw,
  • Inability to swallow (saliva dropping out of mouth),
  • Paralysis and confusion which often results in aggression, hence the dog bites is the biggest means of transferring the virus.

7. Why is Rabies so dangerous for animals and humans?

All warm-blooded animals are at risk of contracting rabies.  Vaccination (prevention) for humans after exposure is successful if administered within 6 days, with 4 doses over a period of 2 weeks. They should also get another shot called Rabies Immune Globulin at the same time as the first dose. There is no cure after the disease has reached the spinal cord or brain and the inevitable outcome results in death.  

8. Can one prevent Rabies in animals?

Yes rabies is preventable if immunised with Rabisin or Defensor, and the vaccination against rabies also have an “R” in them like DA2PPi+R, and the rabies portion is normally the diluent.

These vaccines cover your pet against rabies, canine distemper, hepatitis (canine adenovirus-2 and -1), parvovirus, and parainfluenza.

9. What is the difference between Canine Distemper and Rabies?

Unlike Rabies, CD is not transferrable to humans, but their symptoms are very similar.  In many cases when an animal does have Canine Distemper, it could also be infected by the rabies virus. Canine distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. The virus can be spread through the air and by direct contact of faeces or infected animals.

10. Is vaccinating our pets against Rabies compulsory in South Africa?

Yes all pets must be vaccinated against Rabies in South Africa.  This vaccination is often sponsored by the Government and offered at a reduced fee (or free of charge) during Rabies Prevention Week.  The vaccine does not only help protect our pets, but it also aids in the prevention of spreading of the rabies disease.

Rabies Awareness Body in Eshowe shared Mission Rabies‘s video.

Some viewers may find this educational video distressing. We encourage you to share it. Rabies is 100% vaccine preventable but if you contract it, it is 100% fatal. What fantastic work by Mission Rabies
#rabieseshowe #zeroby30


Please share this page to help build the awareness to help prevent the spread of this deadly disease called Rabies. Thank you.Advertisement

You Might Also be Interested in:

Hydrotherapy for your dog or catPet Wellness Worx shares with us information regarding your pet and their weight loss needs and how

Sylvester Stallone and his dog ButkusSylvester Stallone the actor is famously synonymous for strength, courage, determination and without

Can I treat my pet’s wound at home?We often wish and hope that we can treat our pets at home, rather than having to fork out a few hund

Deworming your pet parrot, dieregesondheid, animal health, pet insurance, diere versekering, troeteldierversekering suid afrika, south Africa, Pet Health Care, pet care health, petcarehealth, pethealthcare, ask the vet, dieremaniere, animal behaviour, sick animals, siek diere, honde, katte, cats, dogs, veterinary advice, dog walks, dog events, pet wellness, kitten care health, pet care health insurance, pet insurance health, pet care news, pet health care questions, pet care health claim form, pet care heal

Deworming your pet parrotDeworming your parrot is key to keeping him healthy.  “Here is an interesting article on the import

How to calm your dog down for a visit to the vet, dieregesondheid, animal health, pet insurance, diere versekering, troeteldierversekering suid afrika, south Africa, Pet Health Care, pet care health, petcarehealth, pethealthcare, ask the vet, dieremaniere, animal behaviour, sick animals, siek diere, honde, katte, cats, dogs, veterinary advice, dog walks, dog events, pet wellness, kitten care health, pet care health insurance, pet insurance health, pet care news, pet health care questions, pet care health cl

How to calm your dog down for a visit to the vetDo you dread taking your dog to the vet?  When the day arrives for the annual visit to the vet, does

3 FOODS TO HELP YOUR PET GET THROUGH SEASONAL CHANGES  Spring has sprung and summer is on its way, and with the changing season, so comes the time to re

Search our News Articles

Search news

In the news

Risky Mistakes, Dog Walk, professional dog training, Obedience training, Ringworm, Deworming Pets, Roundworms, Ticks, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, Tick control, flea infestation, Bubonic Plague, spaying, neutering, Overweight, exercise, Body Language, Attention, Digging, Chewing, Barking, Bored cats, Treats, Litter Boxes, Leaving Dogs Alone, Depression in pets, Reward good behaviour, Scolding Pets, Children with Pets, Cats and milk, dog walking, Hot asphalt, Giving Bones to Dogs, Table Scraps

Top 20 Risky Mistakes That Pet Owners MakeMany of us have pets and they play a significant role in the household. They become part of the…

Bravecto, Community Support, Animal Welfare, Merck, SAVA, South African Veterinary Association, Tick Flea Prevention

SAVA reaches out further with Bravecto Cares CampaignThe South African Veterinary Association Community Veterinary Clinic (SAVA-CVC) receives over 1000…

about the Cape Dwarf Chameleon

It is Illegal to Own a Cape Dwarf ChameleonWhy is it illegal to own a Cape Dwarf Chameleon?  you ask. These little critters are losing their…

The Low Down on Seizures in CatsSeeing your cat having a seizure can be truly scary and distressing, especially if it is the first…

Email format:   htmltextmobile

Published by technofiend1

Kazan- Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: