Reports of rabies cases in animals and people have been on the rise in the last couple of years. It may be that we’re reporting the disease more, or perhaps because cases have been deemed ‘newsworthy.’ Regardless, this is an important public health risk that everyone should be aware of.
Any mammal can be affected by rabies. In different regions of the country, different animals are more prominent carriers of rabies. In our area, skunks and bats are most frequently affected. Interestingly, rodents don’t often carry rabies. Woodchucks – an animal found in our area – do carry rabies.
Most people think of dogs frothing at the mouth when rabies is mentioned. We rarely consider that rabies can affect large mammals like cattle and horses. The article linked to below reports on six people exposed to rabies by a horse.