Epidemiology and Infection

Rabies in Thailand

a1 The Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, Thai Red Cross and WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in Rabies, Rama 4 Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand


The prevalence of canine and human rabies in Thailand has decreased significantly during the last decade. This has been associated with an increasing number of human post-exposure treatments. Educational efforts, mass vaccination of dogs and cats and the use of safe and effective vaccines have all made an impact. The proportion of fluorescent antibody positive dogs, among those examined for rabies averaged 54% indicating that rabies is still a major public health threat. Canine rabies vaccination is not usually performed in animals <3 months old. However, this study revealed that 14% of rabid dogs were <3 months old and 42% were [less-than-or-eq, slant]6 months old. This is the age group most likely to interact with humans and other dogs. Our study also supports the World Health Organization's recommendation that observing suspected rabid dogs for 10 days is an adequate and safe practice.

(Accepted October 22 1997)

c1 Author for correspondence.