Racoon rabies was first recorded in peninsular Florida in 1947 (McLean, Journal of Infectious Diseases, 1971, 123, 680-81). Other states of the USA reported only sporadic cases until the 1960s when the incidence increased and it spread into mainland Florida and Georgia. Spread progressed northward and westward until by 1982, a raccoon rabies enzootic was established in most mid-Atlantic States-apparently due to the translocation of raccoons for hunting. It is uncertain how they became infected but they are adaptable, attractive and approachable animals who thrive close to human habitation; their population density and habit facilitates intra-species transmission and human contact.
In Maryland between 1982 and 1984, the number of rabid raccoons reported increased by 617
|Publication Title||American Journal of Public Health|
|Author Address||Cent. Interaction Animals & Society, Sch. Vet. Med., Univ. Pennsylvania, 3800 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010, USA.|
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