As a precaution, pets from countries still at risk of rabies should not be allowed for one year.
US health officials announced, Monday, that dogs coming from countries still at risk of contracting rabies will be banned from entering the United States for a year, starting in mid-July.
Dogs from more than 100 countries involved were introduced to the United States solely on the basis of a rabies vaccination certificate.
According to the American Center for Epidemiology and Disease Prevention (CDC), the restriction is necessary due to the recent increase in the number of puppies that were not allowed into the country because they were not old enough to have all the necessary vaccinations.
The restriction will take effect on July 14 and will apply to dogs newly introduced into or returned to the country, including dogs kept as pets or awaiting sale.
Approximately one million dogs are brought into the United States each year and the new restriction is expected to affect 4-7.5 percent of them.
Exceptions will be made in some cases, such as guide dogs and foreign nationals moving to the United States with their pets.
Rabies is a viral disease that is spread primarily by biting infected animals. The virus attacks the central nervous system. There is no cure for symptoms after they occur, but they can be prevented by vaccination.
Dogs were common carriers of the virus in the United States, but the type that usually occurs in the country was eradicated through vaccinations in the 1970s. Then in 1988, a new species was introduced from Mexico that spread to coyotes and took 19 years to eradicate.
Cover photo: illustration