Distribution trend rabies in cats in Ukraine
In recent decades, there has been a rapid increase in the incidence of rabies in cat population due to lack of proper vaccination among domestic and stray animals. In such conditions, the virus is approaching the humans due to the increase in the number of cases of attacks of these animals on humans. Therefore, our aim was to carry out a retrospective analysis of the prevalence of rabies virus in Ukraine, to study the trends of rabies virus spread among domestic carnivores in recent decades, to establish the reasons for an increase in the proportion of cats in epizootic and epidemic processes in Ukraine. Having conducted a retrospective analysis from 1950 to 2017, we found that in 1950–1954 rabies in cats in the epizootic situation constituted a small percentage – 1.58%. In 1975–1979 there was an increase in the number of cases of the disease up to 17%, which occurred as a result of the epizootic outbreaks of rabies among the foxes that were most in contact with cats, especially stray, having common spatial and trophic bonds. Subsequently, trend of the development of rabies acquired a slight fluctuation, but the general trends of species distribution did not change significantly. However, in recent decades, the epizootic situation regarding this zoonosis among cats has become under constantly tension. An analysis of changes in the species structure from the total number of cats, who died of rabies in 1950 compared to 2017 showed an increase in the proportion from 1.58% to 30.5%. It is the highest percentage of cat rabies in Europe. After conducting an epidemiological analysis, we found that over the past decades, cats became the source of hydrophobia for every third patient. Our further research will be aimed at creating a database on the incidence of rabies in all species of animals in order to improve the program of rabies control among domestic carnivores and conduct a GIS-analysis on the territory of Ukraine.
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