Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
SCHNEIDER, Maria Cristina et al. Rabies transmitted by vampire bats to humans: an emerging zoonotic disease in Latin America?. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.3, pp. 260-269. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892009000300010.
Human rabies transmitted by vampire bats reached new heights in Latin America in 2005. A total of 55 human cases were reported in several outbreaks, 41 of them in the Amazon region of Brazil. Peru and Brazil had the highest number of reported cases from 1975 to 2006. In Peru, outbreaks involving more than 20 cases of bat-transmitted human rabies were reported during the 1980s and 1990s. During this period, a smaller number of cases were reported from outbreaks in Brazil. A comparison of data from field studies conducted in Brazil in 2005 with those from the previous decade suggests similar bat-bite situations at the local level. The objective of this study was to review the epidemiological situation and, on the basis of this information, discuss possible factors associated with the outbreaks. Prevention and control measures already recommended for dealing with this problem are also reviewed, and some further suggestions are provided.
Keywords : Rabies epidemiology; rabies transmission; Amazon region; rabies prevention and control; Latin America.