Predictive spatial dynamics and strategic planning for raccoon rabies emergence in Ohio

Colin A. Russell, David L. Smith, James E. Childs, Leslie A. Real

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Rabies is an important public health concern in North America because of recent epidemics of a rabies virus variant associated with raccoons. The costs associated with surveillance, diagnostic testing, and post-exposure treatment of humans exposed to rabies have fostered coordinated efforts to control rabies spread by distributing an oral rabies vaccine to wild raccoons. Authorities have tried to contain westward expansion of the epidemic front of raccoonassociated rabies via a vaccine corridor established in counties of eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Although sporadic cases of rabies have been identified in Ohio since oral rabies vaccine distribution in 1998, the first evidence of a significant breach in this vaccine corridor was not detected until 2004 in Lake County, Ohio. Herein, we forecast the spatial spread of rabies in Ohio from this breach using a stochastic spatial model that was first developed for exploratory data analysis in Connecticut and next used to successfully hind-cast wave-front dynamics of rabies spread across New York. The projections, based on expansion from the Lake County breach, are strongly affected by the spread of rabies by rare, but unpredictable long-distance translocation of rabid raccoons; rabies may traverse central Ohio at a rate 2.5-fold greater than previously analyzed wildlife epidemics. Using prior estimates of the impact of local heterogeneities on wave-front propagation and of the time lag between surveillance-based detection of an initial rabies case to full-blown epidemic, specific regions within the state are identified for vaccine delivery and expanded surveillance effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-388
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS Biology
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

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Raccoons
Strategic planning
Procyon lotor
Rabies
rabies
Rabies Vaccines
Vaccines
planning
Public health
Viruses
vaccines
Testing
Strategic Planning
Costs
monitoring
mouth
Rabies virus
lakes
North America
Public Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Predictive spatial dynamics and strategic planning for raccoon rabies emergence in Ohio. / Russell, Colin A.; Smith, David L.; Childs, James E.; Real, Leslie A.

In: PLoS Biology, Vol. 3, No. 3, 03.2005, p. 382-388.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Russell, Colin A. ; Smith, David L. ; Childs, James E. ; Real, Leslie A. / Predictive spatial dynamics and strategic planning for raccoon rabies emergence in Ohio. In: PLoS Biology. 2005 ; Vol. 3, No. 3. pp. 382-388.
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