1.9 Why is it important to control fox rabies?

In vast areas of Eurasia and in parts of North America, the red fox is responsible for almost all maintenance and transmission of the disease. Fox rabies in endemic areas has negative impacts on public health, e.g. increased risk to humans, pets and livestock.

Although human cases due to bites from rabid foxes are rare compared to canine rabies, the disease still causes severe socio-economic losses, e.g. in terms of “spillover” to livestock and companion animals. The latter may lead to very costly PEPs and human deaths if PEP is not administered (see 3.3.3).

Also, during a fox rabies epizootic there is additional mortality in wildlife from the disease, resulting in the loss of thousands of wild animals with potentially detrimental impacts on threatened or endangered species.


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012