Survey of rabies vaccination status of Queensland veterinarians and veterinary students

Mendez, D., Foyle, L., Cobbold, R., and Speare, R. (2018) Survey of rabies vaccination status of Queensland veterinarians and veterinary students. Australian Veterinary Journal, 96 (5). pp. 155-160.

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Abstract

To determine the rabies vaccination status of Queensland veterinarians and veterinary students and their perception of zoonotic risk from Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV).Cross-sectional questionnaire surveys.Questionnaires were sent by post in 2011 to veterinary surgeons registered in Queensland, to final-year veterinary students at James Cook University via SurveyMonkey® in 2013 and to final-year veterinary students at James Cook University and University of Queensland via SurveyMonkey® in 2014.The response rate for registered veterinarians was 33.5% and for veterinary students 33.3% and 30% in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Of the 466 registered veterinary surgeons, 147 (31.5%) had been vaccinated, with 72 (15.5%) currently vaccinated. For veterinary students the rabies vaccination rate was 20.0% (4/20) and 13.0% (6/46) in the 2013 and 2014 surveys, respectively. More than 95% of veterinary students had received the mandatory Q fever vaccine. Both veterinarians and students regarded bats and horses as high-risk species for zoonoses.Queensland veterinarians and veterinary students have low levels of protection against ABLV. Although incidents of ABLV spilling over from a bat to a domestic mammal are likely to remain rare, they pose a significant human health and occupational risk given the outcome of infection in humans is high consequence. Principals of veterinary practices and veterinary authorities in Australia should implement a policy of rabies vaccination for clinical staff and veterinary students.

Item ID: 53367
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1751-0813
Keywords: Australian bat lyssavirus, emerging infectious diseases, rabies vaccine, veterinarians, veterinary students, zoonoses
Funders: James Cook University Centre for Biosecurity and Tropical Infectious Diseases
Date Deposited: 01 May 2018 02:57
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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