Rabies: We all play a role in preventing this deadly disease

rabies is the deadliest disease in the world it's caused by a virus that can infect any mammal once the virus reaches your brain there is no cure we can prevent rabies by vaccinating our animals in the United States we eliminated the virus that circulates in dogs but we still have the virus in our wildlife such as foxes skunks raccoons and bats and these still pose a threat to us and our domestic animals fortunately in the United States cases of human rabies are very rare we only see 1 to 2 cases of human rabies each year one problem in many countries is that rabies vaccine is not widely available or may be very very expensive another issue is that sometimes people may not recognize wind and exposure has occurred any animal contact such as a bite should be evaluated by a medical professional CDC provides assistance to many countries to help them improve their human rabies prevention and control programs we can eliminate rabies virus and dogs by vaccinating 70% of the population we achieve this by doing mass vaccination campaigns however in countries where the majority of the dogs are free-roaming it can be very difficult to access these dogs many of these countries do not have the resources to vaccinate enough dogs to halt transmission and as a result we still have numerous human rabies deaths around the world we are educating dog owners on the importance of rabies vaccinations and we're training vaccinators so they can safely handle dogs during mass vaccination campaigns CDC is helping by training their workforce to respond to rabies outbreaks and other infectious disease that's integrating animal and human health together so that it can jointly respond to an outbreak we're helping them put data into action that means helping them examine their surveillance data to really drive down to see what it means where where are the cases occurring where are the dogs biting people most who is not getting post exposure prophylaxis CDC is working to help improve on how to interpret a positive and negative rabies result it is so important that they are able to understand the results they're testing in order to provide appropriate vaccinations for those in need or to keep unsafe animals off the street whether you are a vaccinator in a country where dog rabies is still a problem or a pet owner here in the United States we all have a crucial role to play in preventing this deadly disease vaccinate your dogs and cats

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