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Estimating the global burden of canine rabies

K. Hampson, L. Coudeville, T. Lembo, M. Sambo and others

RABIES is underreported in many developing countries. This study aimed to estimate the public health and economic burden of this preventable disease by country, as well as globally.

To estimate the disease burden, relationships between rabies mortality and prevention and control measures were incorporated into a model framework. The model used bite incidence, the probability of a biting animal being rabid, as well as the likelihood of a victim either getting postexposure prophylaxis or developing the disease, to estimate rabies deaths in people and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). The model was then applied using country-specific data or geographic cluster estimates.

Globally, it was estimated that 59,000 human rabies deaths occur each year. Of these, 59 per cent were in Asia and 36.4 per cent in Africa. India had the highest human rabies mortality per year, making up 35 per cent of rabies deaths, when analysed by country. However, the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa had the highest estimated death rate per member of the population. The Americas accounted for less than 0.05 per cent of estimated deaths, but 70 …

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