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Excretion of Street Rabies Virus in the Saliva of Dogs

John B. Vaughn Jr., DVM; Phyllis Gerhardt; Kenneth W. Newell, MD
JAMA. 1965;193(5):363-368. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090050039010.
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Dogs, of all domestic animals, are the most common source of human rabies.1 In the United States, 600,000 to 1,000,000 people are bitten by dogs each year.2 Of the 212 human deaths from rabies from 1946 to 1959, where the species of biting animal was known, 84% were attributed to dogs.1 The total number of reported human deaths due to rabies in this period markedly decreased.3

Because the United States' population of dogs increased from about 12 million in 19461 to approximately 25 million in 1960,4 and is possibly still increasing, it is reasonable to expect that in the next decade many more physicians will have to decide whether or not to administer antirabies treatment to a person who has been bitten by a dog. As part of this decision the physician will have to consider carefully the evidence for true exposure to rabies


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