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Rabies: 100 per cent fatal, 100 per cent preventable
  1. B. Abela-Ridder
  1. Department of the Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, CH-1211, Genève 27, Switzerland e-mail:

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RABIES is 100 per cent preventable by vaccination in animals and people, and yet it remains an under-reported and neglected zoonosis, which is endemic in many of the world's poorest and underserved communities. Dog-to-human transmission accounts for 99 per cent of human rabies cases and can be eliminated at source by mass canine rabies vaccination campaigns. Eliminating rabies from dog populations significantly reduces human exposure to the disease and is the single most cost-effective intervention to control and eliminate canine rabies (WHO 2013). Despite many success stories in Latin America (Vigilato and others 2013) and other countries, endemic rabies in Africa and parts of Asia remains largely uncontrolled (WHO 2015).

Proof-of-concept programmes on the elimination of rabies have shown that simplifying and streamlining canine rabies vaccination campaigns will ensure successful implementation and high coverage (WHO 2014). Research shows that approximately 70 per cent of …

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