Rabies Eradication for One Health

We support a one health approach to global health security policy in an increasingly connected world.
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Although dog rabies was eliminated from the United States, wildlife mammals serve as a constant source of infection for rabies in the continental United States and United States territories. The presence of wildlife rabies has a significant negative impact on the economy due to the cost of exposure treatment for humans, and the spillover of rabies into domestic animals. Although rabies is rare in humans in the United States, the disease is fatal without immediate intervention. USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) established the National Rabies Management Program to prevent the spread of wildlife rabies and eventually eliminate rabies in the United States. Since 1995, USDA-APHIS WS has run oral rabies vaccination (ORV) programs in affected areas in the United States, and had success eliminating rabies from the coyote population. However, over the past ten years, there has been no significant decrease in the number of rabies cases throughout the United States and territories. In order to significantly improve rabies eradication efforts, we propose continued funding to focus on the improvement of the effectiveness of the oral vaccines in conjunction with standardized surveillance protocols and creation of a national reporting system for persons receiving post exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Ensuring data is accurately reported and easily accessible will allow USDA-APHIS to make well informed decision on where to implement ORV programs.

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