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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Relative factor costs of wildlife rabies impacts in the U.S.

  • Author(s): Sterner, Ray T.
  • Sun, Ben
  • et al.

A comprehensive cost model of wildlife rabies is presented. A total of 11 factors were viewed to comprise the diverse agricultural, insurance, medical, and veterinary expenses associated with rabies (i.e., pet vaccinations, livestock vaccinations, pet replacements, livestock replacements, pre-exposure prophylaxis for humans, post-exposure prophylaxis for humans, adverse medical reactions, animal control activities, public health charges, quarantine costs, and human death settlements). These factor costs form the basis of potential savings to be gained from rabies control activities. Irrespective of incidence, per unit costs and ranges were found to be greatest for livestock replacement, post-exposure prophylaxis, adverse medical reactions, and human death settlements, with substantial costs of adverse medical reactions and human deaths occurring infrequently but due to potential insurance or litigation claims. Empirical studies are needed to document the incidence of these factors during pre-epizootic, epizootic, and post-epizootic phases of wildlife rabies.

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