AbstractObjectiveTo provide surveillance tools to support policymakers andpractitioners to identify epidemiological situations and inform theprogressive implementation of rabies elimination programmes.IntroductionGlobal targets for elimination of human rabies mediated by dogshave been set for 2030. In the Americas countries are progressingtowards interruption of transmission and declaration of rabiesfreedom1. Guidance for managing elimination programmes toensure continued progress during the endgame is critical, yet oftenlimited and lacking in specific recommendations. Characteristicspatiotemporal incidence patterns are indicative of progress, andthrough their identification, tailored guidance can be provided.MethodsUsing SIRVERA, a surveillance database for rabies in theAmericas2, we developed a classification framework for identificationof epidemiological situations at subnational level. Each situationexhibits a characteristic pattern identified via a set of objective criteriaincluding trends in case detection, assessment of virus variants, caselocations and measures of incursion risk.We refined our framework through application to Mexico inconsultation with stakeholders. To understand factors predictingincursions we analysed state-level data on vaccination campaigns,populations and socioeconomic indicators employing multivariateregression models.ResultsWe were able to classify all states in Mexico and providecorrespondingly tailored guidance. Control efforts have resultedin progress towards elimination; however rabies still circulatesendemically in one state Chiapas, putting its neighbours at risk ofre-emergence.Epidemiological and socioeconomic factors associated withincursions were primarily geographic proximity to endemic and high-prevalence states, and inconsistent vaccination campaigns associatedwith a low human development index.ConclusionsOur management tool can support rabies programme managersat subnational levels to identify their epidemiological situation,develop tailored plans to meet targets, and sustainably maintainrabies freedom, as demonstrated for Mexico. Effective surveillanceis critical for disease elimination. Control options differ dependingon whether disease circulates intermittently through reintroductionsor persists focally, but with poor detection these situations mightbe indistinguishable. Our analysis enables identification of at-riskareas and methods to reduce risk. Investment in remaining endemicareas, through improved implementation and monitoring of mass dogvaccinations, is expected to provide the most cost-effective approachto elimination whilst preventing re-emergence elsewhere.Decision-tree framework.Rabies incursions in Mexico, 2005-2015. Blue circles indicate incursionlocations, and resulting outbreak sizes, with darker shading for more recentincursions. Red shading indicates the duration of endemic circulation over theten-year period.
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