Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

A time series analysis of the rabies control programme in Chile

S. N. Ernsta1 and F. Fabregaa2

a1 Instituto de Medicina Preventiva Veterinaria, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile

a2 lnstituto de Salud Pública, Marathon 1000, Santiago, Chile


The classical time series decomposition method was used to compare the temporal pattern of rabies in Chile before and after the implementation of the control programme. In the years 1950–60, a period without control measures, rabies showed an increasing trend, a seasonal excess of cases in November and December and a cyclic behaviour with outbreaks occurring every 5 years. During 1961–1970 and 1971–86, a 26-year period that includes two different phases of the rabies programme which started in 1961, there was a general decline in the incidence of rabies. The seasonality disappeared when the disease reached a low frequency level and the cyclical component was not evident.

(Accepted May 31 1989)