4.7 What minimum baseline data / information are required for effective rabies surveillance?

The following information should be recorded in surveillance data

All mammals are susceptible to rabies. Therefore, proper identification and recording of the species is a fundamental need to ensure an understanding of the problem and how to best address the issue at hand. For example, there are several species of bats, foxes, badgers, small carnivores and skunks, but not all species in these groups serve as known reservoirs for rabies although all could be a victim of spillover. Therefore, simply logging fox, for example, would not necessarily provide sufficient detail to better understand an emerging or existing rabies problem. If uncertain about the species, additional experts should be consulted or photographs and skin samples may be taken for subsequent morphological or genetic species identification by professionals at the laboratory.

Location the animal was found / sample was taken
Location is vital, and information on the lowest administrative unit (e.g., municipality should be provided). Preferably, geo-coordinates would allow accurate mapping, and may be used with other data to evaluate spatial trends to aid in future outreach and rabies intervention. The use of GPS devices or applications in mobile phones should be considered.

Date of finding
The time of a finding is vital and may be used with other data to evaluate temporal rabies trends to aid in future outreach and rabies intervention.

Date of submission
The date of submission provides context for the time that lapsed between the finding, diagnostic determination, and need for medical or other intervention.

Address of owner / finder
This information including telephone number, if available, is critical to timely inform the owner regarding the status of the rabies test (rabid or negative), so that prophylaxis could begin to prevent the development of rabies if required. This information is often valuable as citizens want to be informed of the outcome of events even if there was not an exposure. The address also provides the location for mapping the status (negative or rabid) of the animal tested, important for managing rabies exposures, and such feedback motivates people to submit more samples.

Result of laboratory diagnosis and tests used
This information either gained from standard or confirmatory laboratory tests for rabies diagnosis is critical for both epidemiological analysis and initiation of post-exposure prophylaxis and other interventions.


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