Original Research

Rabies in South Africa between 1993 and 2005 - what has been achieved?

B. Gummow, Y. A.A. Roefs, G. De Klerk
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 81, No 1 | a89 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v81i1.89 | © 2010 B. Gummow, Y. A.A. Roefs, G. De Klerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2010 | Published: 03 May 2010

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B. Gummow,
Y. A.A. Roefs,
G. De Klerk,

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Epidemiological analyses in time and space were carried out on all animal rabies cases reported in South Africa for the period 1993 - 2005. Validation of state veterinary records was done by comparing these with data from the 2 diagnostic laboratories mandated to test for animal rabies. A discrepancy between state veterinary records and laboratory results was found and is discussed. The total number of positive rabies cases reported to veterinary services between 1993 and 2005 was 4767. During this period the proportion of domestic animal rabies had increased to 79% (19% more than for the period 1980 - 1994), with 59% of the total cases being domestic dogs. Of the domestic animal cases 74% were canine and only 21% were bovine; when compared to the data from 1985 - 1994 there was an increase of 6% of rabies in canine and a 3% decrease in bovine cases. A disturbing trend is the increase in the incidence of rabies over the last 16 years in provinces neighbouring KwaZulu-Natal province, where rabies used to be concentrated, and in Limpopo province.


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