Wyoming Rabies Control
thesisposted on 01.01.2019, 00:00 by Neta Hansen
Rabies is a viral disease affecting more than 60,000 people in the United States of America (USA) annually. If a victim does not receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) before the onset of rabies symptoms, it is nearly universally fatal in humans (WHO, 2018). This viral disease is commonly spread through the saliva of infected animals during a bite to another organism (Signs, 2011). Statewide surveillance of animal bites, both domestic and wild, is necessary to reduce rabies transmission. This study was conducted to assist the Wyoming Health Department (WHD) with rabies intervention efforts by entering animal bite data from January through June of 2016 and analyzing trends. A descriptive analysis of the data shows that the majority of reported bite cases are from vaccinated domestic animals; and roughly 60% of all reported cases result in an adult victim. Although, some civilians reported animal bites, the majority of the origin of animal-to-human bite incident reports are received from animal control or healthcare providers. This could account for the bias in the severity of the bites that are reported. Of all the cases the WHD received roughly 70% are not receiving PEP due to the low risk factors. Animal bites are a reportable condition in Wyoming, but only some entities and counties are submitting reports to the WHD. A consistent reporting system is needed to better protect the state and education programs need to be increased to better enable the public to be prepared for animal bites and animal interactions.