A Systematic Review of epidemiology of Rabies in Arab countries

Taghreed Alaifan, Asmaa Altamimi

Abstract


Background: Rabies is an often neglected yet quite deadly infectious disease. Present in almost 150 countries around the world, with most of the deaths reported in Asia and Africa, it is clear that the disease is a serious, pressing issue worldwide. Underreporting, lack of surveillance and political neglect are the main issues that exacerbate the problem of rabies in many countries around the world.
Method: This systematic review, based on the literature published until June 2019, aims to assess the overall epidemiological situation of rabies, among both humans and animals in Arab countries. The literature search was done using PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar and other local journals. A total of 11 studies were included.
Results: Results showed that rabies was highly prevalent in Arab countries. However, very few studies which examined the prevalence of rabies are available or have been published in recent years. Dogs were the main reservoir in most of the Arab countries studied, except Oman, where most of the rabies cases occurred in foxes. Most of the human rabies cases were reported in children younger than 15 years of age.
Conclusion: Whereas some developed countries have eliminated rabies, it still constitutes a major problem in most of the Arab world. Most of the human and animal rabies can be prevented by vaccination and public health education on rabies. There is a need for further and more extensive research in Arab countries on the epidemiology of rabies, as the data available is outdated and insufficient.

Keywords


Rabies; Prevalence; Risk; Arab Countries; systematic review.

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