Rabies - epidemiology in Wisconsin
The primary reservoirs of the rabies virus in Wisconsin
are bats and skunks (Figures 1 and 2). Domestic animals almost always
become infected from exposure to these wildlife reservoirs.
Historically, skunks have been the predominant species infected by
rabies, but for the past decade, the number of positive bats has
exceeded that of skunks (Figure 1). The last four cases of human rabies
in Wisconsin occurred in 1959, 2000, 2004, and 2010. All four persons
contracted the disease from bats.
Geographically, animal rabies cases are widely
dispersed in Wisconsin, and occur in both rural and urban areas. Figure
3 shows the geographic distribution and species of cases diagnosed from
2008 through 2012.
Animal Bites |
Diagnostic testing | Rabies in Wisconsin