After 52 years with no canine rabies cases, Taiwan agriculture authorities have discovered rabies among wild ferret-badgers on the island.
Ferret-badgers are common in Southeast Asia. Three of the animals tested last year at Taiwan’s Animal Health Research Institute were positive for rabies, prompting agriculture officials to launch large-scale testing of all dead or ill wild mammals as well as any mammals that had bitten or scratched humans.
Authorities tested hundreds of animals, finding 31% of 512 ferret-badgers, 0.7% of 138 shrews, and 0.1% of 908 dogs with positive rabies test results. The dog had developed rabies symptoms while quarantined, after contact with a rabid ferret-badger. Hundreds of other animals, including cats, bats, and other mammals, had negative rabies test results (Wu H et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63:178).
Rabid Ferret-Badgers in Taiwan. JAMA. 2014;311(16):1604. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3899