Rabies is a disease with the highest case fatality rate of any known infectious disease. Rabies exists in every continent except Antarctica. Rabies has no boundaries and continues to spread across previously rabies-free countries (e.g., the recent news about dog rabies invading the tropical island paradise of Bali). Rabies kills humans regardless of their age, nationality, religion or cultural beliefs. In fact, rabies kills one person every ten minutes - more than 55,000 people every year. Sadly, over 50% of these deaths are children under 15 years of age.
Some of the facts about rabies in certain countries include: infected sheep brain vaccine is still used instead of modern vaccines; human rabies victims are sent home to die because it is cheaper to transport a live body than a dead body; and dog bite victims visit local healers where they are given worthless treatments including magic amulets or told to rub chili powder into their wounds as a cure for rabies. In order to address these issues and effectively reach across all continents, countries, religious backgrounds etc, the first World Rabies Day was established in Sept 2007 by a group of rabies experts that established the global foundation: The Alliance for Rabies Control (www.rabiescontrol.net).
Monday, Sept 28th will mark the third annual World Rabies Day (WRD). 10,000 visitors from over 150 countries come to the website (www.worldrabiesday.org) every month to download educational messages to distribute in their own countries. For WRD this year, a multitude of events will be held across the world in countries with opposing beliefs and diverse cultural backgrounds including: Pakistan, India, Palestine, Israel, China, Taiwan and many more. In 2007, 74 countries held a WRD event. In 2008, country participation increased 15% with 85 countries hosting activities.
The WRD initiative has engaged all of the major health organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), World Animal Health Organization (OIE), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, all of the major Veterinary medical associations and many more partners. World Rabies Day proves that dedicated partners working together to prevent a deadly disease can ultimately overcome political barriers. Wishing everyone a brilliant and active World Rabies Day on Monday, September 28th.
The Alliance for Rabies Control is the world's foremost non-profit organization dedicated to raising global awareness towards human rabies prevention, canine rabies elimination and wildlife rabies control. The Alliance strives everyday to keep millions of people around the world safe from rabies.