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Notice to Readers: World Rabies Day --- September 8, 2007

The first World Rabies Day will be observed on September 8, 2007, with the theme, "Working Together to Make Rabies History." On this day, CDC and its global partners will celebrate successes in rabies prevention and control, while recognizing the challenges of global canine rabies elimination, human rabies prevention, and wildlife rabies control. Events are planned in at least 61 countries and will include educational presentations, animal rabies vaccination clinics, rabies awareness campaigns, and fundraising activities.

Worldwide, uncontrolled rabies in dogs continues to be the main source of human rabies mortality, accounting for an estimated 55,000 deaths each year. In the United States, dog-to-dog transmission of rabies has been eliminated. However, importation of dogs from rabies-enzootic countries still represents a risk for reintroducing canine rabies into the United States. In addition, cases of rabies in U.S. wildlife have increased recently, with bats as the leading source of human rabies infections. In the United States, rabies remains a potential emerging threat through adaptation to new animal reservoirs, translocation of potentially infected animals, and inadequate vaccination coverage of domestic animals, particularly cats and dogs.

Around the world, the public health infrastructure, including local animal control programs, quarantine stations, veterinarians, and clinicians, will play a vital role in preserving the status of those countries already free from canine rabies and in advancing human rabies prevention worldwide. Additional information about World Rabies Day is available at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies or http//www.worldrabiesday.org.



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