3.2 Why is legal enforcement necessary?

A basic requirement in implementing adequate rabies surveillance is to provide a legal basis to make rabies both in humans and animals a notifiable disease. A notifiable disease including rabies is one that, by statutory requirement, must be reported to the public health or veterinary authority and territorial jurisdictions when a case occurs. By definition, they refer to transmissible diseases that have the potential for very serious and rapid spread, irrespective of national borders, that are of serious socio-economic or public health consequence and that are of major importance in public and animal health, in the international trade of animals and animal products. Such diseases are deemed of sufficient importance to public health to require that their occurrence (or sometimes even suspicion) is reported to health authorities [for details see here]. The collation of such case data allows national authorities to monitor the occurrence of a disease, which can provide early warning of outbreaks and help design and direct control efforts.
Unfortunately, practical experience of the reporting of human rabies suggests that it is not necessarily specified in national public health legislation and even if specifically listed, that the reporting and notification activities are not being enacted in many countries, in particular Africa and Asia [read more here].

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[en]Version 1 Last updated December 2014[fr]Première version, dernière mise à jour Juin 2015