ABSTRACT

Targeted surveillance for raccoon rabies virus was conducted between February and May 2017, near Waweig, New Brunswick, Canada, in response to detection of a rabid striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) on 8 February 2017. A total of six skunks, 11 raccoons (Procyon lotor), and two porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) were live-trapped, euthanatized, and tested for rabies virus antigens using the direct rapid immunohistochemical test. Of these, only two skunks tested positive for rabies. All three rabid skunks came from the same location, an abandoned barn used as a denning site. Four of five skunks removed from this barn were males. Feeding, aggression, extreme response to noise and light stimuli, and exposure to porcupine quills were observed in two rabid skunks. No additional cases of rabies in wildlife were detected in the area since 8 March 2017. A targeted surveillance approach that removed potentially infected wildlife followed by localized oral rabies vaccine distribution was implemented in this locality.

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