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Bovine Rabies Cases Seen Dropping

Cases of bovine rabies in Canada continued to drop in 2009, with just eight cases recorded, according to new figures from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

That count includes two cases reported in Manitoba and six in Ontario, the CFIA showed in a new chart on its website, logging clinical cases and laboratory submissions. No clinical cases of rabies were recorded in 2009.

The count is down from 12 cases of bovine rabies reported during 2008, which included four in Manitoba, seven in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan.

It’s also well down from the recent high of 43 cases in bovines in 2000, seven of which were clinical cases in Ontario. Manitoba had the most cases of bovine rabies that year, at 19.

CFIA also recorded a substantially lower number of reported cases of rabies across all species in 2009, at 145 – down from 235 in 2008, and 670 in 2000.

Of the 145 cases recorded in 2009, 55 were in bats, 49 in skunks and 13 in foxes.

Out of total cases in 2009, Ontario recorded the most, at 49, followed by Manitoba and Saskatchewan at 32 and 24 respectively.

Manitoba was the top province for rabies in 2000, at 237 cases across all species, mostly in skunks (199).

The last recorded human death from rabies in Canada was in May 2007, when a 73-year-old man in central Alberta died following a bat bite in 2006. A 52-year-old B. C. man died of a bat variant of rabies in 2003, and a nine-year-old boy died of rabies in Quebec in 2000.

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