CDC Telebriefing: New Vital Signs Report
Bats responsible for most rabies deaths in US
Knowing rabies risks and what to do after contact with wildlife can save lives

Media Advisory

Embargoed Until: Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 1:00 p.m. ET
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286


Bats are responsible for roughly 7 in 10 rabies deaths among people who catch rabies in the U.S. Rabid dogs overseas are the second leading cause of rabies deaths in Americans; people can have contact with rabid dogs while traveling in other countries where dog rabies is still common. During the past 80 years, the animals linked to human rabies cases in the US have shifted dramatically – from dogs to bats and other wildlife – but it remains just as deadly. Rabies is 99 % fatal, but also 100 % preventable as long as people receive post-exposure prophylaxis before symptoms begin. This Vital Signs focuses on what Americans should know about current rabies risks from wild animals in their area and how the public, international travelers, and healthcare providers can prevent rabies.


Anne Schuchat, M.D., CDC Principal Deputy Director
Emily Pieracci, D.V.M., M.P.H., Veterinarian, CDC’s Rabies Branch


Wednesday, June 12, at 12:00 p.m. ET


Media: 888-795-0855
Non-Media: 888-790-3563
INTERNATIONAL: 1-630-395-0331

Important Instructions
If you would like to ask a question during the call, press *1 on your touchtone phone. Press *2 to withdraw your question.
You may queue up at any time. You will hear a tone to indicate your question is pending.

A transcript will be available following the briefing at CDC’s web site:


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: June 10, 2019