As reported in the Washington Post on June 19, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a “multistate investigation after imported rescue dog tests positive for rabies variant twice eradicated in U.S.”
This is the fourth case of a dog imported from a country with a high rabies risk later determined to have been infected with the canine variant of rabies virus, which was eradicated from the U.S. in the 1970s. This form of the rabies virus transmits easily between dogs and has reportedly resulted in “59,000 human deaths a year-mostly in Africa and Asia.”
The facts reported by the Washington Post include:
As previously reported, CDC recently announced a temporary ban on the importation of dogs from 113 countries, deemed high-risk for rabies, with limited pre-approved exceptions. Importations of dogs for adoption or resale would not be permitted. Notably Azerbaijan is one of the listed high-risk countries.
What should you do to protect your shelter, rescue, family and pets? Keep in mind that rabies infection is nearly 100% fatal, especially if not diagnosed quickly. Infected animals are usually euthanized out of an abundance of caution. Exposed animals are quarantined for periods of time depending on their vaccination status. Exposed people can be effectively treated if treatment is provided quickly.