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Notice to Readers: CDC World Rabies Day Symposium --- September 28, 2009

September 28, 2009, marks World Rabies Day, a day focused on educating veterinarians, physicians, and community members across the globe about rabies transmission, prevention, and control. Rabies is a preventable disease that claims approximately 55,000 human lives per year (1). According to global estimates, 45%--60% of rabies fatalities occur in children (1,2). Rabies is endemic in many developing nations, and approximately 56% of human rabies deaths occur in Asia alone (2). Although human rabies is less common in developed nations, wildlife are viral reservoirs for ongoing human exposure.

To raise awareness about rabies, World Rabies Day was established in September 2006 as an annual event. One of the missions of the World Rabies Day campaign is "working together to make rabies history" and involves collaboration of multiple organizations, including the Alliance for Rabies Control, CDC, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Pan American Health Organization. The campaign is based, in part, on the One Health (or One Medicine) initiative, which addresses the convergence of human, animal, and environmental health.*

World Rabies Day events are held worldwide. On September 28, CDC will convene a World Rabies Day Symposium, which will focus on the importance of rabies prevention and control at global and national levels, and related epidemiologic, diagnostic, and surveillance issues. This year's symposium will be held in memory of the late Dr. George M. Baer, in reflection of his pioneering work on oral rabies vaccination and his dedication to rabies prevention and control in the United States and abroad. The symposium will be held at the CDC Global Communication Center in Auditorium A. Registration is free, but seating is limited. Online registration is available at Additional information about World Rabies Day is available at


  1. Briggs DJ. World Rabies Day: working together to make rabies history. Vaccine 2007;25:6830--1.
  2. Dodet B; Asian Rabies Expert Bureau. An important date in rabies history. Vaccine 2007;25:8647--50.

* Additional information available at

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Date last reviewed: 8/27/2009


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