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The shift in rabies epidemiology in France: time to adjust rabies post-exposure risk assessment

Abstract : The epidemiology of rabies in France and western Europe has changed during the past 22 years. In France, rabies in non-flying terrestrial mammals was declared to be eliminated in 2001, and the risk of rabies is now limited to contact with bats, rabid animals illegally imported from rabies-enzootic countries and traveller exposure in enzootic areas. We analysed the epidemiology of rabies in France from 1995 to 2016, describing and analysing data on human rabies surveillance as well as data on post-exposure prophy-laxis (PEP) collected from the network of French antira-bies clinics. Over the study period, seven individuals were diagnosed with rabies in France, all of whom were infected outside mainland France. PEP data analysis revealed an expected overall decrease in PEP administration for individuals exposed in mainland France, but there was still overuse of anti-rabies drugs, given the very low epidemiological risk. On the other hand, a significant increase in PEP delivered to individuals exposed abroad was evidenced. These epidemiological trends indicate that clear guidelines should be provided to support physicians' efforts to adjust rabies risk assessment to the evolution of the epidemiological situation.
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Perrine Parize, Laurent Dacheux, Florence Larrous, Hervé Bourhy. The shift in rabies epidemiology in France: time to adjust rabies post-exposure risk assessment. Eurosurveillance, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2018, 23 (39), ⟨10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.39.1700548⟩. ⟨hal-02155444⟩

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