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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(3), 27; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2030027

The History of Rabies in Trinidad: Epidemiology and Control Measures

1
Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
2
Pan American Health Organization, Trinidad and Tobago Country Office, St. Clair, Trinidad and Tobago
3
School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
4
Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
5
Caribbean Public Health Agency, 16–18 Jamaica Boulevard, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
6
The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rabies Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prophylaxis and Treatment)
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Abstract

Vampire bat-transmitted rabies was first recognized in Trinidad during a major outbreak reported in 1925. Trinidad is the only Caribbean island with vampire bat-transmitted rabies. We conducted a literature review to describe the changing epidemiology of rabies in Trinidad and give a historical perspective to rabies prevention and control measures on the island. The last human case of rabies occurred in 1937 and although no case of canine-transmitted rabies was reported since 1914, sporadic outbreaks of bat-transmitted rabies still occur in livestock to date. Over the last century, seven notable epidemics were recorded in Trinidad with the loss of over 3000 animals. During the 1950s, several measures were effectively adopted for the prevention and control of the disease which led to a significant reduction in the number of cases. These measures include: vampire bat population control, livestock vaccination, and animal surveillance. However, due to lapses in these measures over the years (e.g., periods of limited vampire control and incomplete herd vaccination), epidemics have occurred. In light of the significant negative impact of rabies on animal production and human health, rabies surveillance in Trinidad should be enhanced and cases evaluated towards the design and implementation of more evidence-based prevention and control programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: rabies; Trinidad; Caribbean; public health; vampire bat; Desmodus rotundus; bat-transmitted rabies; epidemic; zoonosis; One Health rabies; Trinidad; Caribbean; public health; vampire bat; Desmodus rotundus; bat-transmitted rabies; epidemic; zoonosis; One Health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Seetahal, J.F.R.; Vokaty, A.; Carrington, C.V.; Adesiyun, A.A.; Mahabir, R.; Hinds, A.Q.J.; Rupprecht, C.E. The History of Rabies in Trinidad: Epidemiology and Control Measures. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2, 27.

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