Is Rabies seen often enough in Colorado to justify vaccinating against the disease?
Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Although the majority of rabies cases occur in wildlife, most humans are given rabies vaccine as a result of exposure to domestic animals.
A report from the Colorado Department of Health from January 2016 through December 2016 indicate that 88 animals tested positive for rabies in Colorado. The following was the distribution of species: 58 bats; 25 skunks; 2 other non-specified wild animals; and 3 domestic cats. Of those 88 positive cases, 65 were suspected of exposing 100 domestic pets, 116 livestock animals, and 32 humans to the rabies virus.
Rabies is almost always fatal to humans, and always fatal to horses. There were a very significant number of confirmed cases of rabies, and an undetermined number of other wild animals that have died undetected .