WILDLIFE IN WYOMING

Rabies

What is Rabies?

Rabies is one of the oldest recognized wildlife diseases. It is found worldwide and can cause disease in many species under experimental conditions, but only mammals are important in the epidemiology of the disease.

How Does Rabies Affect Me?

Rabies is a serious human health concern because of the near 100% fatality rate once clinical signs develop. Agency personnel who routinely work with species of concern (canids, felids, mustelids) should have pre-exposure vaccination. Pre-exposure vaccination does not eliminate the need for additional medical attention if rabies exposure occurs, but it does reduce postexposure treatments. Pre-exposure vaccination may also provide some degree of protection when there is unapparent or unrecognized exposure or when postexposure treatment may be delayed.

Impacts of Rabies on Wildlife

Rabies generally has population effects on species that might be of minor interest (i.e., skunks, raccoons) to management agencies. However, enzootic rabies in these minor species may spill over into species of value or concern.
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