Most cases of rabies reported annually in the United States occur among three groups of carnivores—raccoons (Procyon lotor), skunks (Mephitis, Spilogale, and Putorius), foxes (Vulpes, Urocyon, and Alopex)—and among bats (numerous species). However, between 1960 and 2000, a total of 2,851 cases of rabies in 17 other carnivore taxa were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (USA), from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Three species of these other carnivores (mongooses [Herpestes javanicus], coyotes [Canis latrans], and bobcats [Lynx rufus]) accounted for 92% (2,624/2,851) of the cases reported among other canivorous mammals (OCMs). Most OCMs demonstrated temporal or spatial variation in numbers of reported cases. Tests of specimens from OCMs infected in the United States identified variants of the rabies virus that corresponded with variants associated with the major terrestrial reservoirs within their respective regions of origin. Variants of the rabies virus in samples from mongooses in Puerto Rico could not be distinguished from those in samples from dogs in Puerto Rico by virus typing methods.
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Vol. 39 • No. 2