Bats the main cause of rabies in the US, not dogs: CDC


Poor Old Yeller got a bad rap.

A new report from the CDC says bats and other wild animals are the leading cause for rabies in the United States, according to Science News.

The findings claim that 70 percent of all reported rabies cases in the US are bat related, while other wildlife such as foxes, skunks and raccoons also pose a threat.

The canine rabies virus variant was first targeted in 1947 and completely eradicated from the United States in 2004. The CDC called it “one of the most important public health successes of the 20th century.”

However, canine-linked rabies remains a global risk, especially for international travelers, according to the study.

Thirty-six US residents have died from canine-linked rabies while abroad since 1960.

Recently, a Norwegian woman died after being bitten by a rabies-infected puppy she rescued in the Philippines.

CDC veterinarian epidemiologist Emily Pieracci warned people about the dangers of approaching wild animals. “You can’t tell whether an animal has rabies just by looking at it,” she told Science News.