Journal Article

Emerging Epidemiology of Bat-Associated Cryptic Cases of Rabies in Humans in the United States

Sharon L. Messenger, Jean S. Smith and Charles E. Rupprecht

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 35, issue 6, pages 738-747
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/342387
Emerging Epidemiology of Bat-Associated Cryptic Cases of Rabies in Humans in the United States

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In the United States, during the past half-century, the number of humans to die of rabies dramatically decreased to an average of 1–2 per year. Although the number of deaths is low, most deaths occur because individuals are unaware that they had been exposed to and infected with rabies virus, and, therefore, they do not seek effective postexposure treatment. Molecular epidemiological studies have linked most of these cryptic rabies exposures to rabies virus variants associated with insectivorous bats. In particular, virus variants associated with 2 relatively reclusive species, the silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) and the eastern pipistrelle (Pipistrellus subflavus), are the unexpected culprits of most cryptic cases of rabies in humans.

Journal Article.  5215 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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