Rabies, a global threat: taking a lead on education & vaccine initiatives



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Rabies is the most deadly disease on earth and has a 99.9% human fatality rate. Rabies kills 61,000 humans annually and results in an economic burden of $124 billion USD annually. Each day 3.3 million people live with the risk of rabies. It is estimated that 95% of human rabies cases are a result of coming in contact with an infected canines, majority of these cases being children 15 years and younger. It is estimated that 1 person every 8 minutes dies of rabies. Rabies is a highly neurotropic disease which attacks the brain and central nervous system. Once clinical symptoms are presented, death is invariably the outcome as no cure exists for rabies. Rabies is 100% preventable in humans by proper wound management and proper administration of prophylaxis. Rabies can be adequately controlled in animal populations by contraception and animal rabies vaccine efforts. Whilst it is known that rabies can be prevented in humans and controlled in animal populations, further scientific efforts are still warranted to fully understand this deadly virus so that a cure can one day be discovered. Limitations for a solid global foundation for the prevention and control of rabies consist of lacking national immunization programs for canines and the lack of political commitment. As human and animal populations continue to grow, so does the cost and burden of this horrific disease. Education and animal vaccine initiatives play an instrumental role in combating rabies. As we coexist with wildlife it is important to utilize and promote available resources in preventing and promptly handling exposures to a rabid animal.



Rabies, Rabies Educaiton, Rabies Vaccine Initiatives

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Master of Public Health


Public Health Interdepartmental Program

Major Professor

M. M. Chengappa