In an article in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the authors of the case report discuss the exposure to rabies of some 13 people due to the translocation of an rabid anteater from a zoo in Virginia to a zoo in Tennessee.
On August 16, 2021, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) was notified of a positive rabies test result from a South American collared anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla) in Washington County, Tennessee. Tamanduas, or lesser anteaters, are a species of anteater in which rabies has not previously been reported. The animal was living at a Tennessee zoo and had been recently translocated from a zoo in Virginia. TDH conducted an investigation to confirm the rabies result, characterize the rabies variant, and ascertain an exposure risk assessment among persons who came into contact with the tamandua. Risk assessments for 22 persons were completed to determine the need for rabies postexposure prophylaxis (rPEP); rPEP was recommended for 13 persons, all of whom agreed to receive it. Using phylogenetic results of the virus isolated from the tamandua and knowledge of rabies epidemiology, public health officials determined that the animal was likely exposed to wild raccoons present at the Virginia zoo.
Read the full report HERE
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