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Rabies surveillance 1986
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  • Description:
    Although a summary of animal rabies cases in the United States has been published by CDC since 1960, with cases prior to that year reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a somewhat different format was adopted a few years ago. Canada and Mexico share the northern and southern borders of the United States, and rabies outbreaks on one or the other side of those borders occasionally involve two countries. This occurred, for instance, in 1961, when rabid foxes from the Canadian province of Ontario apparently crossed the frozen St. Lawrence River into the United States, extending a rabies outbreak that had begun in northern Ontario in the 1950s. Similarly, in recent years rabid skunks have often been reported from contiguous areas of northern Montana and southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, with movement of disease both northward and southward.

    For these reasons CDC has, since 1973, included in its annual rabies report summaries of animal and human rabies in both Canada and Mexico, provided through the courtesy of epidemiologists and other public health officials in those two countries. For the following report we would like to especially acknowledge the contributions of the following persons: Dr. David Gregory, Animal Health Division, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, and Dr. Jaime Sepulveda, Direccion General de Epidemiologia, Secretariat de Salud, Mexico, D.F. The information submitted on the annual numbers of rabies cases by state or province and the species in the three countries has been helpful in reviewing the patterns and movement of disease, especially in contiguous areas. It is apparent that the United States and Canada bear the burden of enzootic wildlife rabies, although in dissimilar species, with mostly canine rabies found in Mexico. The continuing surveillance of rabies cases in the three countries, along with additional mapping activities, should help to show additional similarities and differences in the disease in those areas.

    This report summarizes information received from state and local health departments and other pertinent sources. It is intended primarily for use by those responsible for disease control activities. Anyone desiring to quote this report should contact the appropriate state or international health agency for updated information and analyses.

    Suggest citation: Centers for Disease Control. Rabies surveillance 1986. MMWR 1987;36(suppl no. 3S):[inclusive page numbers].

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