A computer model of wildlife rabies epizootics and an analysis of incidence patterns

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


A two-part study was undertaken to investigate and model the characteristics of rabies epizootics in wildlife populations. Initial analysis of temporal and spatial relationships between reported rabies cases in four ecologically divergent counties was conducted. No single pattern of report incidence was found to be characteristic of all counties. Concentration of rabies reports near foci of human population was the only common trend, confirming previous studies of the dependence of rabies reporting upon human population density. Topography partly determines the pattern of hum:an habitation, thereby influencing rabies report data.

A computer model of wildlife rabies epizootics was written for an IBM 360/65-360/50. Based on a generalized simulation language, GASP II, this model may be used to simulate the effects of proposed rabies control.strategies on present and future epizootics. Demonstrations of techniques for simulating control by popµlation reduction, vaccination, and sterilization were presented. Statements of model limitations and suggestions for future improvements were included in the discussion of project results.