Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Dr. Aaron Yoder, Ph.D

Second Committee Member

Dr. Sharon Medcalf, Ph.D

Third Committee Member

Kathy Leinenkugel, MPA, REHS, MT


Eighty-nine percent of Nebraska’s towns are considered rural, with populations of less than 3,000 people and with many towns having less than 1,000 residents. Rural areas consist of crop ground, livestock facilities and regions inhabited by wildlife. Nebraska has two large urban cities, Lincoln and Omaha. Animal and human health in these communities can be greatly impacted by infectious diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans, known as zoonotic diseases. One zoonotic disease of great concern is rabies. Zoonotic diseases not only impact the health of animals and humans, but the social well-being of communities and result in increased costs to control and eliminate outbreaks. The risk of transmission of rabies from animal to animal and animal to human is a Public Health concern. Rabies left untreated in humans is fatal. To reduce the risk of human exposure between animals, the public needs to be made aware of the problem and prevention measures that can be taken. This project proposed to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to analyze rabies data to create summary data tables that will be made publicly available. These summaries describe what type that had been collected between 2010 – 2019, and to use these data to create materials that will be used to improve community awareness regarding the extent of the rabies problem and methods of prevention.