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Veterinary Public Health

     
Rabies Control Manual
Historical Rabies Episodes In LAC
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1898 First Confirmed Case of Animal Rabies in Los Angeles

An English gentleman, living close to the intersection of Third and Flower Street, told the Health Officer his dog, which was uncontrollable, might have rabies. Confirmatory tests were run in Chicago.

City Council Required All Dogs Running at Large on Streets or Other Public Places to Be Muzzled

1899 First Human Rabies Death in the City of Los Angeles

A Pasadena man was bitten on the nose by his cocker spaniel. A few weeks prior to biting his owner, the dog had left home and was suspected of contracting rabies.

1906 Second Outbreak of Canine Rabies

In the spring, the City Health Officer visited the Soldiers Home, twelve miles west of Los Angeles, where an officer's pet dog acted strangely, biting a man, five horses, several dogs, and hogs. The head of the dog and the man were transported to Chicago for testing and treatment. The dog tested positive and the man was given the Pasteur treatment and survived. Back in Los Angeles, the dogs that were attacked were immediately destroyed and the horses quarantined. Two of the horses and a hog developed rabies.

1909 Another Outbreak of Rabies in Los Angeles

In June, 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. Three months later, rabies was diagnosed in a horse by a Pasadena veterinarian. A 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 the following week. With the repeal of the muzzle ordinance, rabies spread rapidly in Los Angeles. Numerous rabid dogs were reported in various locations within the city. Four horses and a mule died of rabies.

1910 A Child Died of Rabies and the Dog Muzzling Ordinance Was Reinstated

1913 Second Largest Outbreak of Cattle Rabies in Los Angeles County, One Human Death

One evening, in a small retail dairy on the east side of Los Angeles, a dog with furious rabies ran into a corral attacking eight cows. When the dairyman chased the dog away, it went to a different corral attacking another cow before leaving.

1936 Most Rabid Livestock (10 Cattle, 2 Goats, 1 Horse) in Los Angeles County, Detected on 13 Premises

The livestock Department reported stray, homeless, and occasionally rabid dogs running rampant in all parts of the county south of the mountains, frequently attacking other animals and people.

1937 Most Confirmed Rabid Dogs (847) in the City of Los Angeles. Three People Died of Rabies

In the spring, 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. He later died of rabies. In the fall, an Altadena veterinarian died of rabies.

1955 A Rabies Epidemic Occurred in Dogs in the City of Los Angeles

70 rabid dogs. 52 people were bitten by known rabid dogs (most in the Watts/Compton area) with 1/300 reported dog bites from rabid dogs. No human deaths.

1956 Largest Rabies Outbreak in Cattle Occurred at the Spanish American Institute in Gardena

24 cows and 1 hog were diagnosed with rabies at the charitable home and trade school for boys, operated by the Methodist church. One milk cow chased chickens, others pawed the ground pushing their heads against the fence and corrals. An epidemic of rabies in dogs was occurring at the time and a stray dog had roamed though the boys home earlier.

Los Angeles County Required that all dogs within the County be vaccinated against rabies as a prerequisite to licensing

1958 Southern California Veterinary Medical Association Started Public Rabies Vaccination Clinics for Dogs

Over 30,000 dogs were vaccinated that year at a cost of $1.50/dog

1964 Epidemic of Rabid Skunks (64) in Malibu and San Fernando Valley

Skunk rabies persisted in the area until the Malibu fire destroyed the population of rabid skunks.

Last Case of Rabies in Cattle in Los Angeles County

A Brahma steer from Mexico, three weeks after entering a feedlot in Newhall, charged other cattle attempting to bite them.

1966 Last Locally Acquired Rabies in a Dog

A Malibu dog had contact with a rabid skunk and later died of rabies.

1973 Last rabid raccoon in Los Angeles County

1975 Last Person to Die of Laboratory Confirmed Rabies in Los Angeles County

A 16-year-old girl from Mexico, who had been living in Los Angeles for eight months, became ill and was hallucinating. She was bitten by a dog while in Mexico. The dog later disappeared.

1979 Last Rabid Skunk in Los Angeles County

The Malibu fire in the early 1970s apparently wiped out the population of rabid skunks.

1987 Last Domestic Animal (cat) with Rabies in Los Angeles County

A woman visiting Acapulco, Mexico, adopted a wandering cat who was later bitten by a stray dog. The cat was ill when it arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport and was diagnosed as a rabies suspected within 48 hours by a San Fernando Valley veterinarian.

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