Introduction: Rabies is a lethal but preventable disease. Knowing the extent of immunization coverage among at risk populations, may help to guide immunization efforts, as well as increase the effectiveness of rabies control and prevention programs. Aim: To determine the proportion of wildlife veterinarians in Chile, as part of a group at risk of rabies transmission. Methods: An electronic survey was sent to wildlife veterinarians in Chile. Results: We found that veterinarians in Chile work mainly with carnivores and deer compared to other mammals (p < 0.001), rarely works with bats (p = 0.6572). Most of the participants had been bitten by domestic animals, while a lesser proportion (29%) by wild animals. Most of the participants never received rabies vaccination (53%), while within the group that had started a rabies vaccination scheme, a substantial proportion (39%) did not complete it. Discussion and conclusion: Identify the vaccination status of risk groups is important for infectious disease control and prevention programs, as this information helps to identify priority groups during outbreaks or vaccine scarcity. Wildlife veterinarians in Chile are at risk of rabies transmission and should be included in rabies prevention programs, especially considering their vulnerability and lack of biosafety practices. Increasing education in rabies epidemiology and prevention is urgently needed in veterinary faculties in Chile.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Salud pública, medioambiental y laboral
- Enfermedades infecciosas