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Dog ecology, bite incidence, and disease awareness : a cross-sectional survey among a rabies-affected community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mbilo, Céline and Kabongo, Jean-Baptiste and Pyana, Pati Patient and Nlonda, Léon and Nzita, Raymond Williams and Luntadila, Bobo and Badibanga, Badivé and Hattendorf, Jan and Zinsstag, Jakob. (2019) Dog ecology, bite incidence, and disease awareness : a cross-sectional survey among a rabies-affected community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Vaccines, 7 (3). p. 98.

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Abstract

Despite the existence of safe and efficacious human and animal rabies vaccines, millions of people remain at risk of exposure to this deadly zoonotic disease through bites of infected dogs. Sub-Saharan African countries, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), bear the highest per capita death rates from rabies where dog vaccination and availability of lifesaving post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is scarce. Mass dog vaccination is the most cost-effective and sustainable approach to prevent human rabies deaths. We conducted a cross-sectional household survey in a rabies-affected community in Matadi, DRC, to estimate the size of the owned dog population and dog bite incidence and assess knowledge and practices regarding rabies, as preparation for future mass dog vaccination campaigns. Our study revealed that the owned dog population in Matadi was almost ten times larger than assumed by local veterinary officials, with a large proportion of free-roaming unvaccinated dogs. The annual dog bite incidence of 5.2 per 1000 person years was high, whereas community rabies knowledge was low resulting in poor practices. Given these findings, human rabies deaths are likely to occur in this community. Lack of disease awareness could negatively affect participation in future mass dog vaccination campaigns. A public sensitization campaign is needed to promote appropriate rabies prevention (washing bite wounds and PEP) and control (dog vaccination) measures in this community.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Human and Animal Health > One Health (Zinsstag)
UniBasel Contributors:Mbilo, Céline and Zinsstag, Jakob Z and Hattendorf, Jan
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
ISSN:2076-393X
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:18 Sep 2019 07:25
Deposited On:18 Sep 2019 07:25

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