Risky human behavior and high density of rabies vectors in urban environments combine to increase the risk of rabies. Pet vaccination, wildlife vector management, and public health education may be the most efficient ways to prevent urban rabies epidemics. Racial, ethnic, and socio-economic factors influence the use of low-cost rabies vaccination clinics, understanding rabies reporting requirements, and learning preferences. In collaboration with the City of Greensboro and Animal Control in Guilford County, NC, we conducted a survey of rabies prevention and transmission across socio-economic strata representing Latinos, African Americans, and Whites, and different income and education levels. Compliance with vaccination was low among Latinos; African Americans and Latinos were not aware of low-cost rabies vaccination clinics; and most respondents were willing to report rabid animals but did not know whom to call. White respondents preferred online information delivery, whereas Latinos and African Americans preferred postal mail. Communication targeting the public requires the consideration of different message decoding and interpretation based on the ethnicity, income, and educational level, and other barriers such as language. Differing message delivery methods may be required to achieve full dissemination.
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