Opossum rabies case raises concerns

Opossums usually don’t contract this disease

A rare case of rabies is bringing serious concern from biologists about how the disease may be able to spread in cities. Researchers confirmed that a female white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris) died from rabies in the Bosque dos Jequitibás Park in Sao Paulo state in Brazil, according to a study published recently in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Opossums don’t often contract rabies due to their relatively cooler body temperatures. Plus, opossums are small, and don’t often survive attacks from larger rabid animals. Dog rabies had previously been exterminated by Sao Paulo state, but this transmission appears to have originated from bats.

Read more at Global Biodefense.

Header Image: A white-eared opossum has been discovered dead due to rabies in Sao Paulo state. Credit: el_druida via iNaturalist