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Animal bites and other potential rabies exposures (OPREs) account for the highest number of cases reported in West Virginia (WV) with over 2,500 yearly case investigations conducted across the state. Human rabies has not been reported in WV since 1994; however, many different animal species have been found to be positive for rabies.
LHD staff collect important surveillance information needed for appropriate public health response to animal bies and OPREs. To facilitate these case investigation, the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology has compiled resources that may be useful for case management of animal bites and OPREs.
Animal bites and OPREs should be reported WITHIN 24 HOURS to the local health department
This surveillance protocol provides information on reporting responsibilities of public health (local and state), healthcare providers, and laboratorians.
Surveillance information needed for case management should be collected on this form. It is encouraged that page 1 of this form be faxed to healthcare providers.
Surveillance information needed for case management of human rabies should be collected on this form.
Current case definition for human rabies.
Current case definition for animal rabies.
The DC4 was a joint effort between the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and the Office of Environmental Health Services. It is the official manual for rabies surveillance management and control in WV. It provides guidelines for case management of human and animal exposures, reporting requirements, and submission of specimens for rabies testing.
This flowchart can be used to assess the needs for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) based on the species of animal to which the victim was exposed. High risk animals include bats, raccoons, and skunks.
The WV Office of Laboratory Services provides testing of (brain) specimens for rabies. This form must be completed prior to sending the specimen.
The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians created this document to provide recommendations for management of wild and domestic animals associated with animal bites and OPREs.
Herpes B, not rabies, is the main disease of concern when investigating monkey bites. Macaques are reservoirs for herpes B, a virus that can be fatal in humans. The National B Virus Resource Center has helpful information for management of monkey bite cases.
Recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for administration of rabies PEP as well as information on how to manage adverse vaccine effects can be found here.
This document provides information on rabies PEP vaccine schedules based on immunization and health status of the individual seeking PEP.
Assistance for those with little or no medical coverage are available for patients seeking rabies vaccine and immune globulin.
Benefits of vaccinating pregnant women usually outweigh risks when: the likelihood of disease exposure is high, infection would pose a risk to the mother or fetus, or the vaccine is unlikely to cause harm. Find CDC's recommendation for vaccinating pregnant women here.
The West Virginia Oral Rabies Vaccine (ORV) Project conducts a yearly bait drop to vaccinate raccoons against rabies. The bait drop is a cooperative effort between USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, the WV Department of Agriculture, the WV Division of Natural Resources (DNR), local health departments, and the WV Bureau for Public Health.
In addition to human surveillance for rabies, animal rabies surveillance is conducted across WV. Below are links to information about animal bites and rabies surveillance in the state.
Summary of surveillance data for animals with rabies in WV.
Annual summary report of vectorborne condition surveillance data.
A report with the most up to date figures on animal rabies cases found in West Virginia and surveillance methodology for 2015.
Click above to view the 2014 surveillance information for mosquito-borne-tickborne, and othe reportable zoonotic diseases.
2014 data on animal rabies by county in WV can be found here.
This report summarizes surveillance data on animals tested for rabies through the 4th quarter of 2014. Information that can be obtained from this report includes: number of animals tested, number of rabies positive animals, and the species of rabies positive animals.
This document shows historical data of animal rabies for each county and the number of cases by species.
Collection of documents containing surveillance data on animal bites and rabies in West Virginia from 1999 onward.