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World rabies day
Veterinary contributions to the elimination of rabies

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THE work being done by vets towards the elimination of rabies around the world was highlighted by a number of organisations this week, to mark World Rabies Day on September 28. Figures released recently by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, which coordinates the annual awareness-raising day, show that almost 60,000 people die from rabies each year, with 60 per cent of rabies deaths occurring in children under 15 years of age.

Sean Wensley, the newly elected BVA President, commented: ‘Rabies is a terrible disease that takes its greatest toll on the poor and vulnerable in developing countries, who, if bitten, cannot afford or do not have access to the postexposure treatment that can prevent the disease developing. We know that controlling the disease reservoir in dogs is key to reducing infections in the human population. Global elimination of rabies is a possibility.

‘The work of British vets assisting with rabies eradication overseas is a clear example of why a One Health agenda matters and why animal and human health is inextricably linked. From veterinary virologists researching this killer disease …

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