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Substantial changes in the epizootic characteristics of rabies have transpired in the United States during the past 50 years. Traditional veterinary practices and public health recommendations have effectively controlled rabies in dogs and prevented associated human fatalities; however, they have been unable to adequately address the problem of rabies in wildlife. Attributable in part to a renewed focus on emerging infectious diseases, a conference was held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1993 to begin discussion focused on the reemergence of rabies and to formulate new suggestions for prevention and control of rabies in the United States. Three major working groups were formed from a national committee of professionals representing a broad array of biomedical disciplines. These groups concentrated on prevention of rabies in human beings, education, laboratory diagnosis of rabies, and rabies control in animals. The groups described the perceived minimum requirements to promote prevention and control of rabies in the United States into the next century. The following article describes the needs and recommendations identified by the prevention and education working group. Two other articles, scheduled for the Nov 15 and Dec 1, 1999 issues of JAVMA, will relay the needs and recommendations of the working groups on laboratory diagnosis of rabies and rabies in wildlife.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association