Assessment of the current rabies situation and its management in epidemic areas of southern Ethiopia

Yimer Mulugeta, Fantu Lombamo, Anberber Alemu, Meseret Bekela, Zewdu Assefa, Endashaw Shibru, Mekoro Beyene, Gutu kitila, Garoma Getahun, Dessalegn Sifer, Mesfin Aklilu, Feyisa Regasa, Asefa Deressa

Abstract


Rabies infection is almost always a 100% lethal viral disease in all mammals, including humans. Although rabies is vaccine preventable disease, more than 60,000 people worldwide, and 2,700 people in Ethiopia die of fatal human rabies annually. The aim of this study was to generate strategic information on the extent of the burden of rabies and the existing major response strategies, in order to overcome and bring attention to the management of rabies outbreaks. Cross - sectional study design was used to assess the current situation of rabies burden in  the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Regional States of Ethiopia. Data analysis revealed a total of 16 fatal human rabies and 287 suspected rabies exposures. The highest attack rate of 116.3 cases per 100,000 human subjects was reported in Tembaro woreda. As a result, 48 animal deaths of rabies have been reported, while cattle (28) have been more affected than other animal species. The lack of dog immunization, lack of community awareness of dog management, and inaccessibility and inefficiency of anti - rabies vaccines were major risk factors associated with the spread of rabies exposure between humans and animals. In conclusion, this study has clearly shown that both the existence and the high magnitude of fatal human and animal rabies are significant in the area. Multidisciplinary approach interventions to increase community awareness of dog vaccination, effective and immediate treatment of exposed individuals is recommended as a method of disease control and prevention.

Keywords


Animal, anti-rabies, human, outbreak, rabies exposure, SNNP

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.36462/H.BioSci.20212

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