One Health for Rabies Control: Mathematical and Economic Modeling
The Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health will host Dr. Meagan Fitzpatrick, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her research evaluates the epidemiological and economic impact of vaccination as well as other infectious disease control measures. She has specific foci on canine vaccination as a method to control rabies in the developing world, and on maternal vaccination to reduce infant deaths from pertussis. Methodologically, she integrates dynamic transmission models and Bayesian techniques to produce data-driven recommendations that can be understood and used by policymakers. Dr. Fitzpatrick earned her doctorate at Yale University, training with the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis (CIDMA), and received her undergraduate degree at Notre Dame.
Rabies claims the lives of over 59,000 people each year. More than 99% of these deaths arise from exposure to a rabid dog. Despite the success of canine vaccination in the developed world, vaccination is rare in low-resource settings. Dr. Fitzpatrick’s research uses dynamic transmission models combined with economic analysis to estimate the impact of canine vaccination on human health, and to calculate the cost-effectiveness of actual or proposed rabies control programs in Tanzania and India, respectively. Canine vaccination is a highly efficient “One Health” intervention, operating at the animal level to save human lives.