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, 2008 to 2014
A map of major rabies virus variants among mesocarnivores (such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and mongooses) in the United States and Puerto Rico from 2008 to 2014. Black diagonal lines over the states of Arizona and Texas represent fox rabies variants (Arizona gray fox and Texas gray fox). Solid borders represent 5-year rabies virus variant aggregates for 2009 through 2014; dashed borders represent the previous 5-year aggregates for 2008 through 2013. Rabies virus variants associated with the major mesocarnivore species (such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and mongooses) are distributed in distinct geographic regions.
- Page last reviewed: April 29, 2016
- Page last updated: April 29, 2016
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