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Is Rabies in your State?

Two men in an office looking at a computer screen

Each year, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collect information about cases of animal and human rabies from the state health departments and publish the information in a summary report. The most recent report entitled “Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2014 [PDF – 2.47MB],” contains the epidemiologic information on rabies during 2014. Here are the maps and figures [PDF – 2.47 MB] showing the distribution of rabies in the United States.

During 2014, 50 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,033 cases of rabies in animals and 1 human rabies case to CDC. The total number of reported cases increased by 2.83% compared with 2013 (5,865 rabid animals and 3 human cases of rabies).

Wild animal surveillance

Wild animals accounted for 92.6% of reported cases of rabies in 2014. Raccoons continued to be the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species (30.2% of all animal cases during 2014), followed by bats (29.1%), skunks (26.3%), and foxes (5.2%).


Domestic animal surveillance

Domestic species accounted for 7.37% of all rabid animals reported in the United States in 2014. The number of reported rabid domestic animals decreased among most domestic species except cats.


Human rabies surveillance

In this century, the number of human deaths in the United States attributed to rabies has declined from 100 or more each year to an average of 2 or 3 each year. Two programs have been responsible for this decline. First, animal control and vaccination programs begun in the 1940's and oral rabies vaccination programs in the 2000's have eliminated domestic dogs as reservoirs of rabies in the United States. Second, effective human rabies vaccines and immunoglobulins have been developed.