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Animals 2013, 3(3), 855-865;

Review of the Risks of Some Canine Zoonoses from Free-Roaming Dogs in the Post-Disaster Setting of Latin America

Division of Pathway Medicine, School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH16 4SB, UK
Latin America Branch, Veterinarians Without Borders (Veterinarios Sin Fronteras) Canada, Pasaje Los Arrayanes 333, Valdivia, Chile
Instituto de Medicina Preventiva Veterinaria, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile
The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 July 2013 / Revised: 15 August 2013 / Accepted: 15 August 2013 / Published: 27 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management Following Natural Disasters)
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Simple Summary

Free-roaming dogs are seldom considered an important public health risk following natural disasters in developing regions. With the high number of recognized canine zoonoses and evidence of increased transmission of some significant diseases this is a risk that may be being overlooked. Communities with free-roaming dogs and endemic canine zoonoses of importance should be developing appropriate community preparedness and response plans to mitigate the occurrence of increased transmission following disasters.


In the absence of humane and sustainable control strategies for free-roaming dogs (FRD) and the lack of effective disaster preparedness planning in developing regions of the world, the occurrence of canine zoonoses is a potentially important yet unrecognized issue. The existence of large populations of FRDs in Latin America predisposes communities to a host of public health problems that are all potentially exacerbated following disasters due to social and environmental disturbances. There are hundreds of recognized canine zoonoses but a paucity of recommendations for the mitigation of the risk of emergence following disasters. Although some of the symptoms of diseases most commonly reported in human populations following disasters resemble a host of canine zoonoses, there is little mention in key public health documents of FRDs posing any significant risk. We highlight five neglected canine zoonoses of importance in Latin America, and offer recommendations for pre- and post-disaster preparedness and planning to assist in mitigation of the transmission of canine zoonoses arising from FRDs following disasters. View Full-Text
Keywords: disaster; free-roaming dogs; Latin America; preparedness planning; canine zoonosis disaster; free-roaming dogs; Latin America; preparedness planning; canine zoonosis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Garde, E.; Acosta-Jamett, G.; Bronsvoort, B.M. Review of the Risks of Some Canine Zoonoses from Free-Roaming Dogs in the Post-Disaster Setting of Latin America. Animals 2013, 3, 855-865.

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