Prevalence of Rabies in Various Species in Yemen and Risk Factors Contributing to the Spread of the Disease

Hassan A. Al-Shamahy, Ameera Sunhope, Khaled A. Al-Moyed

Abstract


Objectives: This study aimed to describe for the first time the prevalence of the passively-reported rabies virus among different domestic and wild animals submitted to the Central Veterinary Laboratory from various areas in Yemen, and to study prevalence proportion ratios (PPR) that contributed to the spread of rabies among animals, and its transmission to humans. Methods: A brain sample was obtained from each of the 180 animals and tested for rabies virus by a direct fluorescent antibody test. Results: Out of the total number of animals involved in attacks on humans, 63.3 % were positive for rabies. Of these, dogs were the main animal involved in attacks with a percentage of 92%, of which 62.7% were positive for rabies. Of animals involved in attacks, 70.6% were males of which 60.6% were positive, and 29.4% were females of which 69.8% were positive. Males comprised 68.9% of the total human individuals attacked, of whom 62.9% were attacked by rabies-positive animals. The significant risk factors that contributed to the spread of rabies in general included the presence of poultry carcasses and other waste in the vicinity of the attacks (PPR = 9.5) with a percentage of 84.8%, followed by the time of year, in particular school vacations (PPR = 3.8) with a percentage of 78%. Conclusion: Rabies is endemic in Yemen with a very high rabies-positive rate for animals involved in attacks, particularly for stray male dogs. Male children were most often involved in attacks by rabies-positive animals. The presence of food waste (particularly poultry carcasses) and school vacation periods were found to correlate significantly with increased risk for human exposure to rabies.



Keywords


Rabies; Humans; Animals; Risk factors; Yemen

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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