Although rabies incidence in humans in Western Europe is low, the repeated importation of rabid animals from enzootic areas threatens the rabies-free status of terrestrial animals and challenges the public health systems in this area. Most rabid animals imported into the European Union (EU) in recent years came from Morocco. The aim of this study was to develop a probabilistic risk assessment model to estimate the probability of rabies introduction, which was applied to the risk to the EU from dogs coming from Morocco. The mean annual probability of rabies introduction was 021 (90% CI 002-065). The pathways that contributed the most to this probability were: (a) EU citizens who adopted a dog in Morocco (59% of the total probability) and (b) EU citizens who travelled with their dog to Morocco by ferry (34% of the total probability). The model showed a marked seasonality in the risk of rabies with almost 40% of the annual probability occurring during the months of July and August. The application of stricter border controls (assuming 100% compliance) would result in a >270-fold reduction in the likelihood of rabies introduction into the EU from Morocco. Copyright © 2010 Cambridge University Press.
|Journal||Epidemiology and Infection|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2010|
- European Union
- quantitative risk assessment