Rabies Status: Assessment by Country

CDC experts in the Poxvirus and Rabies Branch conduct an annual assessment of individual countries’ rabies status worldwide to support and inform recommendations for two CDC programs:

  • CDC Travelers’ Health establishes recommendations for international travelers by evaluating the risk of rabies exposure and access to high-quality postexposure prophylaxis (PEP, including rabies immunoglobulin and vaccine) in each destination country.
  • CDC’s animal and animal product Importation program maintains importation regulations. These include regulations that address the risk of reintroduction of canine (dog) rabies into the United States from imported dogs. While rabies is found in several wildlife species in the United States (including bats, foxes, raccoons, and skunks), the U.S. has been free of dog rabies since 2007. Importation regulations aim to prevent the reintroduction of this type of rabies.

Select a country from the drop-down list to review rabies status information for that country:

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Footnotes:

  1. Rabies virus belongs to the Rhabdoviridae family, genus Lyssavirus, which includes 15 virus species. All Lyssavirus species have the potential to cause rabies disease in people, but rabies virus is by far the most common cause.
  2. Rabies surveillance is considered robust if formal surveillance reports (including methodologies and results) are available in the form of publications, government reports, or other submissions satisfying international reporting requirements. If data are not available, the most conservative determination is applied and surveillance is not considered robust. Regional subject matter experts are encouraged to contact CDC (rabies@cdc.gov) to provide additional data for consideration in updating the reported status for their country.
  3. A robust national canine rabies control program is evidenced by control measures (such as dog rabies vaccination coverage), significant reduction in cases, and/or transmission limited to focal areas as documented in publications or reports in the past 5 years. If data are not available, the most conservative determination is applied and the country is not considered to have a robust control program. Regional subject matter experts are encouraged to contact CDC (rabies@cdc.gov) to provide additional data for consideration in updating the reported status for their country.
  4. Availability of high quality rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) for human use is categorized as:
    • Available – Available for postexposure prophylaxis within 48 hours of patient presenting for care throughout most of the country
    • Limited Availability – Available for post-exposure prophylaxis within 48 hours of patient presenting for care only in major urban medical facilities
    • Not Readily Available – Not readily available within 48 hours of patient presenting for care in most of the country.

Methods:

For this assessment, CDC subject matter experts review publicly available data, including: data from international organizations including the World Health Organizationexternal icon, World Health Organization Rabies Bulletin – Europeexternal icon, Pan-American Health Organizationexternal icon, and the World Organization for Animal Health;external icon government reports; scientific publications; and outbreak report alerts such as ProMEDexternal icon, as well as information provided by national and international rabies experts. The assessment considers the presence of wildlife rabies, canine rabies variant (dog rabies), and non-rabies lyssaviruses. The resulting programmatic recommendations and regulations consider factors such as:

  • The quality of rabies surveillance systems and laboratory capacity in each country.
  • Characterization of rabies virus genomes.
  • The presence or prevalence of domestically acquired cases of rabies in humans and animals. In some cases, rabies surveillance is insufficient to characterize rabies reservoirs or rabies presence in a country.
  • Efforts towards control of the disease in dogs (such as dog vaccination coverage, dog population management, and existence and enforcement of legal codes to limit rabies transmission in dogs).
  • The availability of postexposure prophylaxis (human rabies immunoglobulin and vaccines) within 48 hours of a human patient presenting for care throughout most of the country.

If you would like more information about how a country’s rabies status was assessed, including references to relevant publications and reports, please contact rabies@cdc.gov.