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February 5, 1968


JAMA. 1968;203(6):420. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140060044012

Although for centuries the domesticated dog was L the principal reservoir of the rabies virus, insofar as it is transmitted to man, 1968 United States rabies will appear in a different model which has evolved steadily during several decades.1 A survey of the 20-year period 1946 to 1965 shows that of the animals dead of proven rabies in 1965 fewer than ten percent were dogs. Bats, foxes, skunks, and miscellaneous farm animals each yielded more rabies than the canine carrier.

As long as an animal bite is required to transmit rabies to man, the infected domestic farm animals contribute nothing to human rabies directly. They are the bitten, but rarely if ever the biters, perhaps playing no important ecological role. Rabies in skunks has been on a limited "rampage" in the plains states. Although a rabid skunk bite would seem too unusual a hazard to warrant concern, men have