World Rabies Day is September 28. On this day, begin to take steps to keep yourself and your family free from rabies. Look for events in your area that provide an opportunity to celebrate World Rabies Day and get the facts on rabies prevention and control.
Rabies is a deadly virus that can kill anyone who gets it. Every year, an estimated 40,000 people in the U.S. receive a series of shots known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) due to potential exposure to rabies. In addition, the U.S. public health cost associated with rabies is more than $300 million a year. Each year around the world, rabies results in more than 55,000 deaths – approximately one death every 10 minutes. Most deaths are reported from Africa and Asia with almost 50% of the victims being children under the age of 15.
The U.S. has been successful in eliminating canine rabies. Take steps to control rabies in your pets!
The Challenge of Rabies
Rabies is present on every inhabited continent. People usually get rabies when they are bitten by an animal that has the virus. In the U.S., the animals that most often get rabies are wild animals. Fortunately, the U.S. has been successful in eliminating a particular kind of rabies – known as canine rabies – that is responsible for rabies spreading from dog-to-dog.
However, canine rabies has not been controlled in many regions of the world, further threatening the health of humans and animals in these areas. In addition, some areas of the world have problems with large numbers of stray dogs, which can often come in contact with wild animals that have rabies. This often causes an increased number of rabid animals that have the potential to transmit the virus to humans.
The good news is that people can easily take steps to help prevent and control rabies.
(Picture from Global Alliance for Rabies Control)