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Monday, July 12, 2010

Rabies in Washington State

We recommend vaccinating all cats, even indoor cats for rabies due to the prevalence of the disease in bats in Washington State.  Even indoor cats can be exposed to bats that enter the house.

The following information is from Communicable Disease and Epidemiology News published Public Health of Seattle and King County.

  • Bats are the primary reservoir for rabies in Washington State.  
  • In the period 2003-2007, between 5.5 to 10% of bats tested each year in Washington were positive for rabies.  
  • Rabies in humans is almost always fatal.  
  • In Washington State, the most recent human deaths that occurred from exposue to bat rabies strains occurred in 1995 in a Lewis County resident and 1997 in a Mason County resident.