World Rabies Day Vector Illustration. Photo: iStock/Yogi Pramadhika
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Rabies Day, September 28, is, “A global health observance started in 2007 to raise awareness about rabies and bring together partners to enhance prevention and control efforts worldwide.” The CDC collects and publishes data on rabies in the US annually and has done this for 75 years. 60,000 people are treated for suspected rabies exposure annually.
Cummings School clinical assistant professor in public health Meera Gatlin leads the DVM/MPH program. She updates the 2016 story The Scoop on Rabies, first published in the Magazine of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. A current rabies vaccine in dogs and cats is the most important strategy to reduce the risk of rabies in these species, but also transmission to humans.
2018 data indicates that of all reported human rabies cases came from:
33% were from bats
30% were from raccoons
20% from skunks, and
7% were from foxes
More detailed information can be found in the AVMA’s journal, Public Veterinary Medicine: Public Health: Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2018.