Rabies - Epidemiology

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Rabies is endemic in most parts of the world, with a few countries being free of rabies .  Rabies free countries are usually either islands or peninsulas where it is a little easier to control movement of animals.

map

http://www.who.int/rabies/rabies_maps/en/index.html

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and causes of disease in populations. The epidemiology of rabies includes those populations of wild mammals that are endemic and the spread of rabies to other wild/domestic animals. In Canada the species that most commonly transmit rabies are skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats, and the distribution is regional. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba report mainly skunks. British Columbia reports bat cases, Ontario and Quebec mainly foxes and raccoons, and Northwest Territories report foxes.  (OSH Answers: Rabies)

During 2006 there were 84 confirmed cases of skunk rabies making up 36.7% of all confirmed rabies cases. Bats contributed the next highest group with 72 confirmed cases, 31.5%. There were 26 confirmed cases in cattle making them the third highest group overall with 11.35% of cases, and the highest of any domestic animal.




POSITIVE RABIES IN CANADA
(Lab Submissions and Clinicals)

JANUARY 1 TO DECEMBER 31, 2006
____________________________________________________

Species

N. W. T. / NU

Yukon

B.C.

Alb.

Sask.

Man.

Ont.

QC.

N.B.

N.S.

P.E.I.

N.L.

Total

% Total

Dogs

6

 

 

 

1

4

 

2

 

 

 

 

13

5.68

Cats

 

 

 

1

1

2

2

 

 

 

 

 

6

2.62

Bovine

 

 

 

 

3

12

11

 

 

 

 

 

26

11.35

Equine

 

 

 

 

3

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

3.06

Caprine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ovine

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

0.44

Skunks

 

 

 

 

21

39

23

1

 

 

 

 

84

36.68

Bats

 

 

11

4

4

3

42

8

 

 

 

 

72

31.44

Foxes

12

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

14

6.11

Raccoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

4

 

 

 

 

5

2.18

Wolves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coyotes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Badger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antelope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woodchuck / Ground Hogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishers

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

0.44

Bisons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

18

 

11

5

33

65

82

15

 

 

 

 

229

100.00

Source:  http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/disemala/rabrag/statse.shtml#2006




<>During 2006 there were 84 confirmed cases of skunk rabies making up 36.7% of all confirmed rabies cases. Bats contributed the next highest group with 72 confirmed cases, 31.5%. There were 26 confirmed cases in cattle making them the third highest group overall with 11.35% of cases, and the highest of any domestic animal.  The previous years can be found on the above website.


Rabies distribution in CanadaRabies distribution in USA


Image Credit:  http://www.srd.gov.ab.ca/fw/diseases/                        http://www.nwcphp.org/docs/rabies/animals.html

The locations of rabies cases and the source of the infection can be seen in the images above for Canada and the United States of America.  The data from the American map can be extrapolated to see the approximate areas of transmission for each form of rabies.  Thus for Canada, the primary resevoir in most of the prairies is skunks, Alberta has a mixture of skunk and coyote/fox, Ontario and Quebec have a mixture of fox, skunk and raccoon borne rabies, the maritimes have primarily racoon and fox rabies, and the arctic has primarily fox borne rabies.