Epidemiologic Features of Human Rabies in China from 2015-2021

Announcing a new article publication for Zoonoses journal.  This study aimed to enhance the current understanding of the epidemiologic characteristics, laboratory diagnostic levels, and changes in pathogenic populations of rabies in China by studying the status of the human rabies epidemic in China from 2015-2021 and provide useful information for guiding rabies disease prevention and control strategies.

The incidence, distribution, and laboratory testing of human rabies in mainland China was analyzed using statutory surveillance data from 2015-2021. Based on a literature review, the study summarizes the recent updates of the rabies virus population in each province based on previous monitoring.

A total of 3032 rabies cases were reported in China from 2015-2021, with a year-after-year decrease in the total number of cases. Most of the cases (75.19%) were distributed in Hunan, Henan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Yunnan, Jiangsu, Anhui, Guangdong, and Sichuan, with 13 counties (districts) reporting > 50 cases in 7 years. The number of reported counties (districts) decreased from 512 in 2015 to 116 in 2021. Farmers accounted for most of the cases (73%), and the highest proportion of cases (54.62%) occurred in individuals 50-75 years of age. No changes in endemic populations were detected in China. The laboratory diagnosis rate of cases increased from 4.74% in 2015 to 22.93% in 2021.

The rabies epidemic in China decreased steadily from 2015-2021, with a marked contraction in the geographic scope. In the future it will be necessary to continue to carry out large-scale dog immunization and strengthen the surveillance and laboratory diagnosis of rabies.


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eISSN 2737-7474

ISSN 2737-7466

Na Zhang, Chengqian Song and Xiaoyan Tao et al. Epidemiologic Features of Human Rabies in China from 2015-2021. Zoonoses. 2023. Vol. 3(1). DOI: 10.15212/ZOONOSES-2023-0012