The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) has confirmed the first case of rabies this year in Montana.

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The rabies report was made in Powder River County after a cow began displaying neurological symptoms.

Three individuals were exposed to the cow administering treatment.

The last case of rabies in Powder County was in June 2022.

According to the MDOL, Montana sees around one or two dozen cases of rabies each year.

The Department urges vaccination to minimize the risk of exposure to humans.

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Powder River County Quarantine

The MDOL has issued a 60-day countywide quarantine for Powder River County.

Non-vaccinated or not currently vaccinated dogs, cats, and ferrets in Powder River County are quarantined within the county for a period of not less than sixty (60) days from the date of the last known terrestrial rabies (MCA Title 81, Chapters 2 and 20).

  • Any dog, cat, or ferret that has been properly immunized against rabies for the first time may be released from the quarantine area after twenty-eight (28) days from the date of vaccination.
  • Any dog, cat, or ferret that is past due on the rabies vaccine may be immediately released from the quarantine area as soon as it receives a booster vaccine.

Quarantine release is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, 2024.

 What Is Rabies

Rabies is a fatal viral disease that can spread through the saliva of an infected animal.

The virus can infect any mammal, including people.

Rabies is virtually 100% preventable in domestic animals through the administration of rabies vaccine.

Report Rabies

Residents should report any contact between a pet and a wild animal, including skunks and bats, to their veterinarian or the MDOL to ensure potential rabies exposures are assessed for risk and managed accordingly.

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Animals in Which Rabies is Most Commonly Found

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in North America rabies is most commonly found in bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and mongoose. It is also found in cats, cattle, and dogs. The CDC says that rabid bats have been found in every state except for Hawaii. Rabid mongoose have been found in Puerto Rico.

Rabies is easily transmitted from animals to other animals, including human beings. Human cases are rare in the United States, but deadly if not caught in time.

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