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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


CEDIEL, Natalia et al. The epidemiology of canine rabies in Colombia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.3, pp.368-379. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective An epidemiological-ecological study was carried out on canine rabies in Colombia to describe its tendency and explore the factors associated with its incidence. Methods Socio-economic variable data was collected by questionnaire applied to the rabies control programme's regional epidemiology coordinators in each Colombian department. Statistical association analysis was carried out on the 2001-2006 historical epidemiologic data on canine rabies incidence and sources of official national survey figures. Incidence rate ratios and Spearman correlation tests were calculated. Results Canine rabies incidence rate was 0.4 cases x 100,000 dogs/year (without adjustment for 2001-2006). Average immunisation coverage from 1994 to 2005 was 45 % to 63 %; only 25 % of Colombian departments had higher than 60 % immunisation coverage. The following variables were associated with the presence of canine rabies: an urban population, immunisation coverage, a lack of a cold chain for vaccines, a lack of participation in surveillance committees, the lack of an epidemiological map, the unavailability of a rabies' diagnosis laboratory, the absence of trained human resources, the absence of a zoonosis centre for observing dogs, comparative analysis between monthly and semester basis data and the percentage of people displaced by internal violence. Conclusions The analysis suggested the need for active surveillance and rapid response. Canine rabies is associated with the weaknesses of regional control programmes. Internal human migration could influence human-dog-selvatic reservoir ratios and rabies frequency.

Keywords : Rabies; surveillance; internal migration; Colombia.

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