Rabies is an infectious disease of acute viral etiology transmitted via mammals. The disease presents two principal transmission cycles: urban and wild.
To follow up on the outbreak of bat-transmitted human rabies detected in the city of Portel, state of Pará, Brazil, in January 2004, the last report from the Department of Health on 16 April indicates that 2 more cases have been confirmed since our update last week, bringing the total to 15 cases of confirmed human rabies.
To follow up on the outbreak of bat-transmitted human rabies detected in the city of Portel, state of Pará, Brazil, in January 2004, the last report on 8 April indicates that 8 cases have been confirmed since our update of 2 April, bringing the total to 13 cases of confirmed human rabies.
Given the circulation of the rabies virus in several areas of Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / World Health Organization (WHO) encourages Member States of the Region to continue intersectoral prevention and control activities aimed at reducing the risk of human cases and also prepare to respond to possible human cases by having post-exposure prophylaxis, human rabies immune globulin and vaccine available.
In the epidemiological week (EW) 30 of this year, Peru’s Ministry of Health reported the death of a confirmed case of human rabies transmitted by a hematophagous bat. This case occurred in the native community of Urakusa, district of Nieva, province of Condorcanqui, department of Amazonas. Another two cases of human rabies were reported in Colombia, one in the municipality of Piedecuesta, and the second, in Lebrija – both in the department of Santander. The department did not have a record of human rabies cases until 2008 and 2009, when one case was notified in each of these years respectively.
In the last years, human rabies transmitted by bats has resurfaced as a public health problem in the Americas. During 2011, events of human rabies transmitted by bats were reported in Ecuador and Peru and bats infected with rabies virus were detected in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Costa Rica and Honduras. Additionally, cases of human rabies transmitted by dogs were reported in Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Haiti and Peru. As such, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) reiterates the recommendations made through the 30 August 2010 Epidemiological Alert, concerning prevention and control strategies.