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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

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FRIAS, Danila Fernanda Rodrigues; LAGES, Sonia Luisa Silva  and  CARVALHO, Adolorata Aparecida Bianco. Evaluation of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis in humans injured by dogs and cats in the municipality of Jaboticabal, SP, from 2000 through 2006. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2011, vol.14, n.4, pp.722-732. ISSN 1415-790X.

The present study aimed to evaluate rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in humans in the municipality of Jaboticabal, São Paulo from 2000 through 2006. A descriptive and retrospective study was conducted by collecting data available in patient records. Vaccination costs were also calculated; 2,493 patients injured by animals received PEP, totaling R$ 179,105.14 and 7,108 doses; 2,184 (71.5%) out of the total reports were caused by dogs and cats clinically healthy at the moment of the attack. These animals remained sound throughout the 10-day observation period. The observation was conducted by the victim or by the owner. Considering animal observation and the epidemiological status of rabies in the municipality, all of these patients could have been dismissed from PEP treatment. Instead, only 464 were dismissed, meaning that 1,720 patients were unnecessarily vaccinated. An estimated 4,590 doses and R$114,420.81 could have been saved. In comparison with rates of other municipalities of the State of São Paulo and with the national mean, the number of PEP in Jaboticabal is very high and it became evident that management evaluated neither the health status of the animal nor the epidemiological status of the area for rabies. Permanent awareness and education of public health professionals with respect to rabies epidemiology and the need to perform correct observation of the aggressors are recommended. It is essential that medical and veterinary services be integrated to provide better assessment of cases and safer decisions on the institution of PEP.

Keywords : Rabies; Post-exposure prophylaxis; Rabies vaccine.

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