World Rabies Day Strives to Make Rabies History

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 General News J E 4
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Aug. 14 World Rabies Day,Sept. 8, 2007 is a new, international event launching global efforts toeliminate rabies. The inaugural event will remind people that rabies is stilla very deadly but preventable disease. Last year alone, at least 55,000 peopledied of rabies worldwide, including three in the United States, which hadalmost 7,000 confirmed cases of animal rabies.

In the United States, rabies is still present in bat populations (as wellas regionally in raccoon, fox, and skunk) in every state but Hawaii, accordingto a rabies surveillance report published in the August 15 issue of theJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The inaugural World Rabies Day includes participation by Canada, India,Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Brazil, Pakistan, Thailand,Ethiopia, South Africa, Germany, Haiti, Mexico, the United Kingdom and theUnited Sates, including veterinary medical school fund-raisers and educationalprograms by virtually every Student American Veterinary Medical Association(SAVMA) chapter.

"Human rabies can be prevented, canine rabies can be eliminated, andwildlife rabies can be controlled," said Dr. Charles E. Rupprecht, chiefrabies officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."People have no idea that people are dying in the developing world becausethey have no vaccine. Some developing countries have substandard vaccines,and others don't have anything at all."

The event will include the World Rabies Day Symposium and Expo to be heldon Sept. 7, 2007 in Atlanta, Ga. Dr. Rupprecht, as well as speakers from theWildlife Services of the USDA, the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borneand Enteric Diseases and the Pan-American Health Organization, will discussthe challenges of rabies control. Jeana Giese, the world's first rabiessurvivor, will recount her personal ordeal with the deadly disease.

For more information or educational materials, please visit and/or

The AVMA and its more than 75,000 member veterinarians are engaged in awide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art ofanimal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at for more information.

SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association


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