2013 Taiwan's Strategies in Response to Re-emergence of Animal Rabies

Ji-Jia Huang, Kai-Hsiang You, Chiung-Fang Lin, Chia-Ying Wang, Chia-Ling Liu, Jer-Jea Yen

2013 Vol.29 NO.133

Correspondence Author: Ji-Jia Huang

  • Division of Acute Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


       Taiwan lost its rabies-free status when the Council of Agriculture (COA) reported a confirmed case of animal rabies in Taiwan in July 2013. In order to control the disease, to block rabies virus from further spreading among animals and to prevent rabies infection in human, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) for Rabies was established based on applicable provisions of the Communicable Disease Control Act. Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), in collaboration with the COA and other relevant governmental agencies, has since been implementing the following three strategies: domestic dogs and cats rabies vaccination, pre-exposure vaccination for high risk groups and post-exposure prophylaxis for people bitten or scratched by animals. Months of response measures brought rabies under control and epidemic remains occurring only in wild ferret-badgers in mountainous areas, with neither transmission to dogs or cats nor human infection. From the viewpoint of the MOHW, this article backtracks contingency measures taken in emergency period and adapted World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for rabies and response action taken by other countries to compile key rabies control strategies and prevention measures for medium- and long- term usage in Taiwan.