Vertebrate Pest Conference Proceedings collection


Date of this Version

March 1967


During the 15-years 1952-1966, a total of 3504 cases of animal rabies were reported in California, an average of over 230 cases annually (Table 1). Of these 3504 cases, 2255 or nearly 65 percent were reported in wildlife species. An estimate sometimes used is that for every reported or recognized case of wild animal rabies, 10 cases probably occurred without recognition. Using the foregoing "rule-of-thumb", it can be hypothesized that during the 15-years 1952-1966, an estimated 22,600 or more cases of wildlife rabies occurred in California. The addition of the over 1200 cases of rabies reported in domestic animals during the same period provides an estimated total of nearly 24,000 cases of rabies in all species or an annual average of nearly 1600. These figures, while estimates, emphasize more clearly, the extent of the reservoir of rabies in California wildlife than do reported figures and emphasize as well the long period of time, over 13 years, during which the problem has persisted (Table 1). The occurrence of rabies in California wildlife is not a new ph