How can you prevent rabies in people?
Rabies in humans is 100% preventable through prompt appropriate medical care. Yet, more than 55,000 people, mostly in Africa and Asia, die from rabies every year - a rate of one person every ten minutes.
The most important global source of rabies in humans is from uncontrolled rabies in dogs. Children are often at greatest risk from rabies. They are more likely to be bitten by dogs, and are also more likely to be severely exposed through multiple bites in high-risk sites on the body. Severe exposures make it more difficult to prevent rabies unless access to good medical care is immediately available.
This major source of rabies in humans can be eliminated through ensuring adequate animal vaccination and control, educating those at risk, and enhancing access of those bitten to appropriate medical care.
In 2006, a group of researchers and professionals formed a global Alliance for Rabies Control. They created and began inviting partners to join the World Rabies Day initiative.
The goal of this outreach is to mobilize awareness and resources in support of human rabies prevention and animal rabies control. With the initial goal of engaging 55,000 people to take action, one for each person who dies each year from rabies, the inaugural campaign on September 8, 2007 saw participation of nearly 400,000 individuals from at least 74 countries! This overwhelming response was an important step forward for rabies prevention and control and further illustrates the widespread recognition of the need for action to control this easily preventable disease.
What can you do?
- Vaccinate your pet
- Maintain control of your pets to reduce their exposure to wildlife
- Spay or neuter to decrease the number of stray animals
- Report any stray or ill animals to animal control
Learn more about World Rabies Day.
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