Croatia is a rabies-free country, state agency Hina notified the public on Friday, citing "criteria of the World Organization for Animal Health."
The last detected case of rabies among wild animals was in 2014, and since 2015 there has been no rabies virus infection in livestock or in wild animals. This data comes from an article in the Acta Medica Croatica science ournal published by the Academy of Medical Sciences of Croatia.
In the past, i.e. from 1995 to 2006, Croatia registered cases of rabies transmitted by wild animals mainly by red foxes. For instance, in 2006, the number of detected rabid foxes reached 514, while 49 domestic animals were diagnosed with this viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals.
From 1995 to 2006, 12,380 persons underwent medical exams in hospitals throughout Zagreb for animal biting, and 147 patients were hospitalized. Broken by age, the oldest patient was 81 years old, and the youngest was a one-year-old infant. Most of those hospitalized patients were under 16 (57 percent).
Three quarters of hospitalized patients were bitten by dogs, and dogs of identified owners were five times more frequent offenders than strays. Also, other rabid animals responsible for hospitalizations in 2006 were cats, rats, as well as one pig and a single donkey.
The situation started improving after vaccinations campaigns for foxes. Furthermore, vaccine bait campaigns, which aim to control rabies in Croatian wildlife, are conducted every spring and autumn.