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the National Study Group on Rabies the National Study Group on Rabies

Summary

Despite the availability of rabies vaccination through private veterinarians and government-sponsored rabies control programs, rabies was reported in an average of 338 cats and dogs per year from 1980 through 1987 in the United States. Information was collected on 90% of the 183 cats and 97% of the 119 dogs that were reported to have rabies in the continental United States in 1988. The median age of rabid cats and dogs was 1 year, and 81% were from rural areas. Compared with rabid cats, rabid dogs were more likely to have been male (66 vs 42%, odds ratio = 2.6), to have been kept as pets (84 vs 43%, odds ratio = 6.8), and to have had reported contact with wildlife before onset of illness (38 vs 14%, odds ratio = 3.8). Rabid cats accounted for a greater proportion of human rabies postexposure prophylaxis, bites to people, and exposures to other animals than did rabid dogs. Although the clinical signs of rabies varied, rabid cats were more likely than dogs to have had aggressive behavior (55 vs 31%, odds ratio = 2.8). In contrast, rabid dogs were more likely than cats to have had an illness consistent with a paralytic process. The median period between onset of illness and death was 3 days (range, < 1 to 10) in rabid cats and dogs that were allowed to die of rabies. Vaccine failures were documented in 3 (1%) rabid animals (2 cats and 1 dog). All animals had received only a single dose of vaccine in their lifetime and were vaccinated when they were between 3 and 6 months old.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

In 1990, the United States and its territories reported 4,881 cases of rabies in animals to the Centers for Disease Control, a 1.5% increase from 1989. Of these, 553 were domestic animals, 4,327 were wild animals, and one was a human being. Pennsylvania reported the highest number (611) of rabies cases in animals in 1990. For the first time since surveillance of rabies in wild animals was begun in the 1950s, the number of cases of rabies in raccoons exceeded that in skunks. Particularly large increases of cases of rabies in wild and domestic animals were reported in New Jersey (469 cases in 1990 compared with 50 cases in 1989, an increase of 838% from 1989) and New York (242 cases in 1990 compared with 54 cases in 1989, an increase of 348%). The 1,821 cases of rabies in raccoons represented a 17.9% increase over those reported in 1989 and 24.5% over those in 1988. This increase was largely attributable to the larger number of rabid raccoons in New Jersey and New York. Other states that reported an increased number of rabies cases in animals in 1990 included Utah (77.8%), Louisiana (64.7%), North Dakota (60.3%), Arizona (28.6%), Oklahoma (27.5%), Delaware (22.2%), and Maryland (20.6%). Thirty states reported a decrease in the number of cases of rabies in animals.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

In 1989, 4,808 cases of rabies in animals other than human beings were reported to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.8% more (4,724 to 4,808) than in 1988. Eighty-eight percent (4,224/4,808) of those affected were wild animals and 12% (584/4,808) were domestic animals. Cases were reported from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; Hawaii remained rabies-free. Skunks (1,657) continued to be the most commonly reported rabid wild animal. For the second consecutive year, more cats (212) were reported to be infected with rabies virus than any other domestic species. Compared with their 1988 reports, 5 states reported increases of greater than 100% (Alaska, 109%; New Jersey, 233%; Ohio, 133%; Oklahoma, 168%; and Washington, 125%), and 5 states reported decreases of greater than 50% (Connecticut, 63%; Mississippi, 56%; Montana, 67%; Nevada, 55%; and West Virginia, 53%) in 1989.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

In November 1989, the epizootic of rabies affecting raccoons in the mid-Atlantic states reached New Jersey. An economic evaluation was conducted in 2 counties first affected by the epizootic to estimate the costs of the epizootic and to assess the costs and benefits of orally administering a newly developed recombinant rabies vaccine to prevent further spread of the disease. Data on expenditures associated with prevention of rabies in human beings and domestic animals and laboratory testing of suspect animals were collected and analyzed for 1988 (before the epizootic) and 1990 (first full year of the epizootic). Benefit-cost ratios were calculated and used to evaluate the economic advisability of the vaccine at various vaccination program alternatives. Two indices of capital investment analysis, payback period and net present value, were used to evaluate the economic benefits of the rabies vaccine. Expenditures were estimated to be $1,952,014 in 1990 (primarily for pet animal vaccinations), compared with $768,488 in 1988. Benefit-cost ratios ranged from 2.21 for the most expensive vaccination program alternative to 6.80 for the least expensive alternative. The payback period varied from 0.69 to 2.11 years, and the net present value ranged from $2,105,453 to $4,877,452. The high costs of this epizootic necessitated the reallocation of scarce public health resources to various rabies prevention activities, particularly the vaccination of dogs. This study also demonstrated the usefulness of benefit-cost analysis in developing public health strategies. Although the mass application of this recombinant vaccine was found to be economically beneficial, other qualitative considerations must be used to supplement these findings.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association