3.3.1 What is the value of fox rabies control?

Because of its fatal outcome, rabies remains a feared disease and imparts a significant economic and emotional toll. In any case, the perceived threat is immeasurable. Expenses associated with epizootic fox rabies include (i) wildlife and domestic animal surveillance, (ii) clinical observation by local officials of animals which have bitten humans, (ii) public awareness and education campaigns, (iv) laboratory diagnosis, (v) publicly-funded vaccinations for pets and livestock, (vi) reimbursement of livestock losses and (vii) health department investigations and Pre- and PEPs.

This expense far outweighs the cost of fox rabies control using ORV. In other words, the risks are clear: without a programme of this type, rabies will persist. Thus, an effective ORV program to eliminate fox rabies is an investment that is beneficial to public health, in particular when a rabies free status is achieved the pressure on a community is reduced, there is an increased sense of well-being for the public and public health costs are reduced as mentioned above.

Examples of cost-benefit analysis of ORV programmes in foxes can be found here.


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012