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Bats are the animals that most commonly
carry rabies in our county right now. Most bats do not have
rabies, and try to avoid contact with people and
pets. Bats are good for the environment because they eat
insects and pollinate plants. Bats are also protected by
Scroll down to bottom for latest Los Angeles
County and California rabies data.
RABIES HISTORY IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY. In the past, hundreds of dogs were diagnosed with
rabies in our county. The first rabid animal diagnosed in Los Angeles County occurred in 1898 when an Englishman told the Health Officer his dog, which was uncontrollable, might have rabies. Confirmatory tests were run in Chicago. The following year, a man who was bitten on his nose by his rabid cocker spaniel became the first known human rabies death in the County.
In June of 1909, a police officer shot a collie dog with rabies. Within a month, the police officer shot three more suspected rabid dogs found within five blocks of the original dog. That year, another muzzling ordinance was passed the same month by the board of health.
Some people denied that rabies existed. Strong opposition by a few dog lovers, the humane animal officer, and some members of the board of health resulted in repeal of the ordinance a week later. With the repeal of the muzzle ordinance, rabies spread rapidly in Los Angeles.
The most rabid dogs (1730) confirmed in the County of Los Angeles occurred in 1937. That year, a 57-year-old man saw a dog attack a group of school children. Rushing over, he grabbed the rabid dog and was bitten several times. He held it until police arrived. The man later died of rabies. In the fall, an Altadena veterinarian died of rabies.
In 1956, following the largest outbreak of rabies in cattle in Los Angeles County, all dogs within the County were required to be vaccinated against rabies as a prerequisite to licensing. Later California passed a similar law. Following mandatory rabies vaccination of dogs, the disease declined rapidly. Canine rabies still predominates in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
RABIES TODAY. Today in North America and Europe rabies is maintained in wildlife. For example, in California during 2006 there were 201 rabid animals diagnosed. Bats (158), skunks (40), and fox (2) accounted for over 99% of the rabid animals. One horse was the only rabid domestic animal. That year all rabid animals (7) detected in Los Angeles County were bats.
In the United States today, bats account for most rabies in people. Bat bites often go unnoticed by the victim who then fails to seek medical attention. During the first six years of the 21st century Los Angeles County averaged nine rabid bats a year. Rabies can be prevented if immunizations are started right after exposure to a rabid animal.
Veterinarians and other people who may come into contact with rabid animals are vaccinated against rabies before exposure to boost their immunity or ability to fight off the virus.
Clinical signs of rabies are rarely definitive in animals. Rabid animals of all species usually exhibit typical signs of neurological disturbance. The most reliable signs, regardless of species, are acute behavioral changes and unexplained progressive paralysis.
The last human rabies death in the county occurred in 2005. A man from Latin America had been living in the USA for over a year before becoming ill. The Centers for Disease Control determined the man died from a strain of dog rabies typically seen in his country of origin.
Physicians - click
HERE for more information about rabies.
2011 Lecture about rabies
LOS ANGELES COUNTY RABIES DATA
Bat Rabies Map 2013
Bat Rabies Map 2012
Bat Rabies Map 2011
Bat Rabies Map 2010
Bat Rabies Map 2009
Bat Rabies Map 2008
Bat Rabies Map 2007
Bat Rabies Map 2000-2010
Rabies Chart By Year,
CALIFORNIA RABIES DATA - CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT of
- Rabid Animals in California, 2007
Table - Rabid Animals 1997-2006
Table - Rabid Animals 2007
Table - Rabid Animals 2008
Table - Rabid Animals 2009
Table - Rabid Animals 2010 though April
Rabies Control Manual
- Los Angeles County
related to Rabies - State of California
of Rabies Control - California Department of Public
Approved Rabies Vaccines for Animals in California -
CA Dept of Public Health, 2008
Tales from Los Angeles County (cartoon)
Questions and Answers about Rabies
Bats and Rabies
Laboratory Slide (Image from LA
County Public Health Laboratory)