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How long does the rabies virus survive?

How long can the rabies virus survive? Specifically, outside a living host, ie. on fur, a formica counter top, or a plastic bag which held a rabid animal. Also, how long can the virus survive within a deceased host? Is the virus susceptible to environmental conditions - freezing below x degrees for x amount of time, or temperatures above x degrees for x amount of time, dessication below x percent humidity, etc. I'm creating a collection of skeletal material from various species from road kill/natural killed animals for classroom use and don't want to die in the process, or kill my students. Legitimate scientific references appreciated, please no wikipedia. Thank you

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This is a pretty long question and a lot of research is involved. I am sending a link that will help you with this project for your school. I hope there is enough information for you to study to make your report.
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5483709_long-virus-survive-outside-body.html.
http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/rabies.html

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