Rabies: Hasn't The Threat To Our Pets Ended? - Page 2
In 2009, there were four cases of human rabies with three of the four being fatal. Three of the cases, including the one in which the patient survived, involved encounters with rabid bats. The fourth patient contracted the disease from an encounter with a dog during an overseas visit.
Not Yet “Rabies-free”
And this last factor is why it may be premature to declare an end to the threat of rabies to our pets. The possibility of (re)introduction of the rabies virus from abroad remains a concern. Granted, in a separate report, the CDC suggested that the rabies virus associated with dog-to-dog rabies transmission had essentially been eliminated in the US about 2006. (This was attributed to the excellent vaccination programs and stray dog controls established by state and local governments nationwide.) However, due to the continued importation of dogs from other countries--especially from areas where canine rabies is endemic, like the Middle East, there is potential for the existence of continuing threats.
So, while we may be on the threshold of declaring the rabies threat eliminated statistically, there is still reason to be cautious.