Dynamics of rabies epidemics and the impact of control efforts in Guangdong Province, China.J Theor Biol. 2012 May 07; 300:39-47.JT
Rabies is a major public health problem in some developing countries including China. One of the reasons is that there is a very large number of dogs, both domestic and stray, especially in Guangdong Province which has the third most rabies cases (after Guangxi and Hunan) among the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in Mainland China, and at least 18.2% of the human rabies cases are caused by stray dogs. In this paper, based on the reported data and characteristics of the rabies infection in Guangdong Province, we propose a mathematical model for the dog-human transmission of rabies. We first determine the basic reproduction number R₀ and discuss the stability of the disease-free equilibrium and persistence of the disease. By carrying out sensitivity analysis of the basic reproduction number in terms of some parameters, we find that the domestic dog vaccination rate, the recruitment rate of domestic dogs, and the quantity of stray dogs play important roles in the transmission of rabies. This study suggests that rabies control and prevention strategies should include public education and awareness about rabies, increase of the domestic dog vaccination rate and reduction of the stray dog population.