Rabies persists in animals in Florida

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 11 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1529
  1. F B Charatan

    Rabies remains endemic among a wide range of animals throughout Florida in the US, although no cases of rabies have occurred in people in the state since 1961. So far there have been 71 confirmed cases of rabies in animals in Florida this year. Figures from Florida's state department of health and rehabilitative services show that there were 149 confirmed cases of rabies in animals in 1984. Last year that figure had risen to 187 cases, which occurred in 115 raccoons, 23 foxes, 17 cats, seven dogs, one otter, one bobcat, and 23 bats.

    Local veterinary associations, which run low cost rabies clinics, have tried to introduce bills dealing with rabies into the Florida legislature. An absence of sponsors prevented any bill being introduced this session.

    Rob Mullen, director of public information in the health department, said: “The big puzzle is the explosion in rabies in the Tampa area due to foxes, which are infecting other animals.” He said that when public attention is focused on the problem there are more demands for rabies testing and more liberal funding is supplied by the legislature. “Some people have suggested that in Tampa we bring back English fox hunting, but I'm not sure how serious they are.”

    View Abstract

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription