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|Author(s) :||M.F.A. Aubert|
The author presents an evaluation of the cost of wildlife rabies in France. This study included the vaccination of domestic animals, the reinforcement of epidemiological surveillance networks and the support provided to diagnostic laboratories, the expenses associated with outbreaks of rabies (animal losses and associated economic losses), the clinical observation of those animals which had bitten humans and the preventive vaccination and post-exposure treatment of humans. A substantial percentage (72%) of this cost was the preventive vaccination of domestic animals. In France, as in other European countries in which the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the species most affected, two main strategies for controlling the disease at the reservoir level were evaluated, namely: fox depopulation and the oral vaccination of foxes. The combined costs and benefits of rabies and of both strategies were compared and included either the cost of fox culling or the cost of oral vaccination (baits, bait delivery and follow-up to ensure the efficiency of the vaccination). The cumulative annual costs of both strategies remained comparable until the fourth year, after which the oral vaccination strategy became beneficial. This forecast was made in 1988, readjusted in 1993 and confirmed by ex post analysis five years later. The expected benefits of oral vaccination have now been obtained.
Control – Cost-benefit analysis – Economics – France – Rabies – Red foxes – Vaccination.