Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
Any mammal can get rabies. The most common wild reservoirs of rabies are:
Domestic mammals can also get rabies. Cats, cattle, and dogs are the most frequently reported rabid domestic animals in the United States.
Show All Answers
Each state collects specific information about rabies, and is the best source for information on rabies in your area. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes rabies surveillance data every year for the United States. The report, entitled Rabies Surveillance in the United States, contains information about the number of cases of rabies reported to CDC during the year, the animals reported rabid, maps showing where cases were reported for wild and domestic animals, and distribution maps showing outbreaks of rabies associated with specific animals. A summary of the report can be found on the CDC website.
Small rodents (such as squirrels, rats, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, and chipmunks) and lagomorphs (such as rabbits and hares) are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have not been known to cause rabies among humans in the United States. Bites by these animals are usually not considered a risk of rabies unless the animal was sick or behaving in any unusual manner and rabies is widespread in your area.
However, from 1985 through 1994, woodchucks accounted for 86% of the 368 cases of rabies among rodents reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Woodchucks or groundhogs (Marmota monax) are the only rodents that may be frequently submitted to state health department because of a suspicion of rabies. In all cases involving rodents, the state or local health department should be consulted before a decision is made to initiate post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
For more information about rabies in rodents and lagomorphs, see: Childs, J. E., Colby, L., Krebs, J. W., Strine, T., Feller, M., Noah, D., Drenzek, C., Smith, J. S., and Rupprecht, C. E. (1997). Surveillance and spatiotemporal associations of rabies in rodents and lagomorphs in the United States, 1985-1994. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 33(1), 20-27.