The Executive Board approved actions during the April meeting relevant to two zoonoses of concern to public health—rabies and psittacosis/avian chlamydiosis.
The board approved the AVMA participating again as a partner in promoting rabies prevention through World Rabies Day, which is Sept. 28 this year. The Alliance for Rabies Control has taken the lead on the project for 2008.
In 2007, the inaugural year of World Rabies Day, dozens of countries participated in outreach to millions of people.
The United States has eradicated canine-variant rabies, but other forms of rabies are still present in this country. In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received reports of nearly 7,000 cases of rabies in animals. Globally, rabies kills tens of thousands of people each year.
The AVMA staff will assist the Alliance for Rabies Control in developing educational materials and facilitating distribution of the materials through AVMA communication channels.
In another action during the April meeting, the board approved endorsing the "Compendium of measures to control Chlamydophila psittaci infections among humans (psittacosis) and pet birds (avian chlamydiosis)" from the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians.
From 2000 through 2006, the CDC received reports of 125 cases of psittacosis. Most resulted from exposure to pet birds with avian chlamydiosis—usually cockatiels, parakeets, parrots, and macaws.
The NASPHV compendium on psittacosis is available at www.nasphv.org by clicking on "Compendia."