By Dr. Susan Moore
With the increased number of positive skunks, our terrestrial rabies reservoir in Kansas, we have seen an increase in spillover cases in bovines this year. We have confirmed 9 cases to date with 2 others highly suspect (classical symptoms but not tested due to the cost). Two confirmed plus 2 highly suspects were from a pen of yearling heifers and occurred over a 10 day period. These samples will be sequenced here at KSVDL to determine the origin of the virus. This is a very unusual case considering the variable latent period in rabies. Most likely all of these heifers were exposed to the same skunk. In this case curiosity did kill the cows.
Susan Moore, M.S. Ph.D, MT (ASCP)SBB is the Director of the KSVDL Rabies Laboratory