Human rabies in Brazil: a descriptive study, 2000-2017* * Article derived from the Master’s Degree thesis “Epidemiological Profile of Human Rabies in Brazil, 2000-2017”, defended by Alexander Vargas at the Postgraduate Program in Public Health of the Universidade de Brasília on 13 July 2018.

Alexander Vargas Alessandro Pecego Martins Romano Edgar Merchán-Hamann About the authors



to describe the epidemiological profile of human rabies in Brazil.


this is a descriptive study of human rabies cases reported in 2000-2017, with an estimate of incidence and spatial distribution.


188 cases were studied, mostly males (66.5%), rural residents (67.0%), children under 15 years (49.6%), with biting being the most frequent form of exposure (81.9%); frequency was highest in the period 2000-2008 (85.6%), with 46.6% of cases involving dogs and 45.9% bats; median incubation was 50 days, followed by, predominantly, symptoms of fever (92.6%), agitation (85.2%), paresthesia (66.7%), and dysphagia/paralysis (51.9%); the majority (70.2%) did not have prophylaxis and for the rest (29.8%) who did have prophylaxis, it was untimely and/or incomplete; 13 patients were treated according to the Recife Protocol, and two survived.


human rabies incidence reduced and its epidemiological profile changed, with predominance of cases transmitted by bats; we suggest that secondary cases be investigated, and that pre-exposure prophylaxis be made available to populations at greater risk of accidents involving bats.

Rabies; Rabies Virus; Epidemiology, Descriptive; Public Health; Public Health Surveillance

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