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J Med Assoc Thai. 2005 Jan;88(1):120-3.

Rabies and dog population control in Thailand: success or failure?

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Molecular Biology Laboratory for Neurological Diseases, Neurology Division, Department of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University Hospital, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.


Despite a success in reducing rabies deaths from almost 200 to less than 20 annually, this may not be considered a success. More than 400,000 persons required rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in 2003, more than 4 times as many as those in 1991 [93,641 cases in 1991; 183,815 in 1996 and 350,535 in 2001]. The number of samples submitted for testing in rabies diagnostic laboratories has been declining. However, the percent of samples that were confirmed infected with rabies during the 10 year period remained unchanged; within a range of 23 - 30% (MOPH report). Of the 6 million dogs roughly estimated to live in Thailand, there are no reliable data indicating their relative population densities or distribution patterns in various regions throughout the country. However, in a survey conducted by the Bureau of National Statistics and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in 1999, it was estimated that approximately 630,000 dogs dwell in Bangkok city (an area of 1 565 sq km). In this survey, approximately 110,000 of the dogs living in Bangkok were considered to be ownerless (stray or feral), whereas the remainder was believed to be owned or were community dogs. Nevertheless, it has not been known how many of the latter group can be accessible or are in compliance with local rabies control regulations. When the dog population statistics collected in 1999 are compared to an earlier survey conducted in 1992, the stray dog population appears to have almost tripled in size in Bangkok over the eight year

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