Author(s): Marcin Smreczak, Pawel Trebas, A Orowska, J F mudziski
Data on the surveillance of rabies in Poland from 1992 to 2006 is presented. Between 1992 and 2006, 22,575 rabies cases were diagnosed. There were 3,963 (17.5%) cases recorded in domestic animals, 18,555 (82.2%) in wildlife and 57 (0.3%) in bats. The peak of the epizootic in wildlife was recorded in 1992 with 3,084 cases. There were 2,547 cases recorded in wildlife with 2,079 (81.6%) found in the red fox. In 1993, the decision was made to apply oral rabies vaccination (ORV) of the red fox as a method of rabies control. The programme was started in western part of Poland, which borders Germany, and extended eastward in the following years. ORV was undertaken twice peryear (spring and autumn). In 2002, the vaccine campaign covered the whole territory of Poland. After 13 years of ORV, rabies incidence decreased sharply, from 3,084 cases in 1992 to 82 in 2006 (a 97% decrease in the number of rabies cases). The epidemiological situation in 2006 points to the constant decrease of rabies cases as a result of ORV. The red fox remains the main reservoir of rabies. The progress made over the past decade demonstrates that Poland is meeting the requirements to eliminate rabies in terrestrial animals.