28 September marks World Rabies Day, a day of action to raise awareness about rabies prevention. Rabies is a viral infection which is most commonly transmitted to humans through the saliva of infected dogs. If the virus infiltrates the skin, it causes fatal inflammation in the brain. However, the disease is 100% preventable through the use of a vaccine, given both to people who have been bitten by infected dogs and to dogs to eliminate the disease at its animal source.
Today, the World Health Organization, along with several partners has announced a largest ever anti-rabies initiative with the aim of ending human deaths from dog-transmitted infections by 2030. The strategy centres on a One Health approach to improve awareness and education of the risks of rabies and to target the disease in its animal hosts through vaccination. "The plan ensures support to countries in developing national plans, and provides innovative training and education tools across regional rabies networks," said Dr Bernadette Abela-Ridder on behalf of the four partners."Vaccines are a key component of the global plan and a trigger for national programmes."
Find out more about rabies in our infographic below.