Wildlife Reservoirs for Rabies
Although all species of mammals are susceptible to rabies virus infection, only a few species are important as reservoirs for the disease. In the United States, several distinct rabies virus variants have been identified in terrestrial mammals, including raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes. In addition to these terrestrial reservoirs, several species of insectivorous bats are also reservoirs for rabies.
Distribution of major rabies virus variants among mesocarnivores in the United States and Puerto Rico, 2009 to 2013.
Map of terrestrial rabies reservoirs in the United States during 2013. Raccoon rabies virus variant is present in the eastern United States, Skunk rabies in the Central United States and California, Fox rabies in Texas, Arizona, and Alaska, and Mongoose rabies in Puerto Rico. *Potential Host Shift Events. AZ = Arizona. CA = California. NC = North central. SC = South central. TX = Texas.
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