28 September this year will mark the 16th World Rabies Day. While rabies is a 100% preventable disease, nearly 60,000 people die from the disease around the world each year. World Rabies Day is an opportunity to reflect on our efforts to control this deadly disease and remind ourselves that the fight against rabies is not yet over.
World Rabies Day 2022 Theme
This year’s theme ‘Rabies: One Health, Zero Deaths’ will highlight the connection of the environment with both people and animals.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease. It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal. In the United States, rabies is mostly found in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. However, in many other countries dogs still carry rabies, and most rabies deaths in people around the world are caused by dog bites.
The rabies virus infects the central nervous system. If a person does not receive the appropriate medical care after a potential rabies exposure, the virus can cause disease in the brain, ultimately resulting in death. Rabies can be prevented by vaccinating pets, staying away from wildlife, and seeking medical care after potential exposures before symptoms start.