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Objective—To conduct a benefit-cost analysis of the results of the domestic dog and coyote (DDC) oral rabies vaccine (ORV) program in Texas from 1995 through 2006 by use of fiscal records and relevant public health data.

Design—Retrospective benefit-cost analysis.

Procedures—Pertinent economic data were collected in 20 counties of south Texas affected by a DDC-variant rabies epizootic. The costs and benefits afforded by a DDC ORV program were then calculated. Costs were the total expenditures of the ORV program. Benefits were the savings associated with the number of potentially prevented human postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatments and animal rabies tests for the DDC-variant rabies virus in the epizootic area and an area of potential disease expansion.

Results—Total estimated benefits of the program approximately ranged from $89 million to $346 million, with total program costs of $26,358,221 for the study period. The estimated savings (ie, damages avoided) from extrapolated numbers of PEP treatments and animal rabies tests yielded benefit-cost ratios that ranged from 3.38 to 13.12 for various frequen-cies of PEP and animal testing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In Texas, the use of ORV stopped the northward spread and led to the progressive elimination of the DDC variant of rabies in coyotes (Canis latrans). The decision to implement an ORV program was cost-efficient, although many unknowns were involved in the original decision, and key economic variables were identified for consideration in future planning of ORV programs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine direct and indirect costs associated with raccoon rabies incidents involving cattle herds in Hampshire County, WV, in 2008 and Guernsey County, Ohio, in 2010.

Design—Ex post cost analysis.

Animals—1 cattle herd in Hampshire County, WV, in 2008 and 1 cattle herd in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 2010.

Procedures—Data were collected for each incident through telephone and email interviews with 16 federal, state, and county agency personnel involved in the case investigations and coordinated responses for rabies in the cattle herds. To characterize the economic impact associated with rabies in the 2 cattle herds, cost analysis was conducted with 7 cost variables (salary and benefits for personnel involved in the response, human postexposure prophylaxis, indirect patient costs, rabies diagnostic testing, cattle carcass disposal, market value of euthanized cattle, and enhanced rabies surveillance). Estimates of direct costs were determined on the basis of agency records and other relevant data obtained from notes and reports made by agency staff at the time of the incident and from a review of the literature.

Results—Primary costs included the market value of euthanized cattle ($51,461 in West Virginia; $12,561 in Ohio), human postexposure prophylaxis ($17,959 in West Virginia; $11,297 in Ohio), and salary and benefits for personnel involved in the response ($19,792 in West Virginia; $14,496 in Ohio).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These results should provide a basis for better characterization of the economic impact of wildlife rabies in cattle in the United States.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To identify knowledge and practices related to rabies vaccination and serologic monitoring among animal care workers in the United States.

DESIGN Cross-sectional survey.

SAMPLE 2,334 animal care workers (ie, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, animal control workers, and wildlife rehabilitators).

PROCEDURES Participants were contacted through relevant professional organizations to participate in an anonymous web-based survey. The survey collected demographic and occupational information, animal handling and potential rabies exposure information, and individual rabies vaccination and serologic monitoring practices. Comparisons of animal bite and rabies exposure rates were made between occupational groups. Multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate factors associated with rabies vaccination status and adherence to serologic monitoring recommendations.

RESULTS Respondents reported 0.77 animal bites/person-year or 0.10 bites/1,000 animals handled. The overall rate of postexposure prophylaxis due to an occupational rabies exposure was 1.07/100 person-years. Veterinarians reported the highest rabies vaccination rate (98.7% [367/372]), followed by animal control workers (78.5% [344/438]), wildlife rehabilitators (78.2% [122/156]), and veterinary technicians (69.3% [937/1,352]). Respondents working for employers requiring rabies vaccination and serologic monitoring were 32.16 and 6.14 times, respectively, as likely to be vaccinated or have a current serologic monitoring status as were respondents working for employers without such policies.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that, given the high reported rates of animal bites and potential rabies exposures among animal care workers, improvements in rabies vaccination and serologic monitoring practices are needed.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association