Rabies in the United States
In the United States, rabies is mostly found in wild animals like bats, racoons, skunks and foxes.
Rabies in Indiana
Indiana animals considered to be at highest risk of transmitting rabies to humans include bats, skunks, foxes, raccoons, and coyotes. Dogs and cats can also transmit rabies that they have acquired from wildlife, but pets are rarely found rabid in Indiana. Reptiles and birds never get rabies. Theoretically, rats, mice, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, etc. can transmit rabies, but bites from these animals are not considered a rabies risk in Indiana at this time. Your local health department can help you evaluate the risk of rabies following an animal bite.
Until the early 1960's, most of the rabies cases in Indiana were dogs, cats, and animals bitten by dogs and cats. After pet vaccination increased and animal control programs were established, dog and cat rabies decreased rapidly. From the 1960s to 1988 skunks were the most commonly found rabid animals in Indiana. After 1988 bats became the most common rabid animal. Rabid bats have been found somewhere in the state every year since 1965. Rabies in skunks was last detected in 2004 in Indiana. Rabies in skunks has been restricted to counties in far South Central Indiana, where rabies in skunks continues to be transmitted at a very low level.
|Number of Bats that Tested Positive for Rabies in Indiana, by Year (2008 - 2020)|
|Most Recent Rabies Cases by Species in Indiana|