Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Rabies in a puppy imported from India to the USA, March 2007.

Abstract

In March 2007, a puppy that was recently imported from India into the United States was found to be positive for rabies by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. This case report highlights several important public health issues. First, recognizing that humans and animals are part of a global community with frequent travel and translocation, the risks of disease introduction, particularly with sub-clinical or incubating animals, are real and present. Animal-importation regulations, policies and practices are intended to minimize these risks and should be routinely evaluated and updated as needed in response to occurrences such as detailed in this communication. Second, veterinarians play key roles in safeguarding the public's health with regard to monitoring the movement of animals and diagnosing zoonoses. Third, investigating rabies cases that involve multiple jurisdictions are labour-intensive and require significant resources to ensure that all potentially exposed persons are identified and receive the appropriate rabies post-exposure prophylaxis.