We reported an outbreak of wild rabies in Potus flavus (choznas), a carnivorous mammal associated with insectivorous bats in Kosñipata, Cusco, Peru, from February 2021 to October 2022. Eight human exposures were reported, with aggressive attacks resulting in injuries. The outbreak prompted a public health response and raised concerns about zoonotic diseases due to habitat fragmentation and urbanization. The study involved antigenic and genetic characterization of the virus in the affected animals, revealing similarities with variants in non-hematophagous bats. This outbreak marked the first time rabies had been reported in choznas in the region, highlighting the need for early intervention programs and wildlife protection. Pre-exposure rabies vaccinations were administered to residents, and community surveillance was established to control the outbreak. The study emphasizes the importance of continuous surveillance and education to prevent rabies transmission from choznas to humans and other animals, as their role as potential secondary transmitters of the virus warrants further investigation.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.