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    Rabies is a viral zoonotic disease that causes progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Clinically, it has two forms:

    1. Furious rabies – characterized by hyperactivity and hallucinations.
    2. Paralytic rabies – characterized by paralysis and coma.

    66顺彩票appAlthough fatal once clinical signs appear, rabies is entirely avoidable; vaccines, medicines, and technologies have long been available to prevent people from dying of rabies. Nevertheless, rabies still kills tens of thousands of people each year. Of these cases, approximately 99% are acquired from the bite of an infected dog.

    66顺彩票appDog-mediated human rabies can be eliminated by tackling the disease at its source: infected dogs. Making people aware of how to avoid the bites of rabid dogs, to seek treatment when bitten and to vaccinate animals can successfully disrupt the rabies transmission cycle.

    Post-Bite Management

    66顺彩票appIf you are bitten or scratched by an animal, particularly a dog:

    • Wash the wound immediately with soap or detergent.
    • Flush the wound thoroughly for about 15 minutes with copious amounts of water.
    • Apply an iodine-containing or anti-viral medication to the wound 15 minutes after it has been washed and flushed.
    • Avoid applying irritants to the wounds such as chili powder, plant juices, acids and alkalis.
    • Avoid covering the wound with dressings or bandages.
    • Seek transportation to a health care facility for further assessment and treatment by a healthcare professional.

    If possible, safely confine the biting animal and collect information on it and the bite circumstance to provide to the health care professional and public health officer. Keep the biting animal confined and under observation for 10 days.


    Rabies is estimated to cause 59 000 human deaths annually in over 150 countries, with 95% of cases occurring in Africa and Asia. Due to widespread underreporting and uncertain estimates, it is likely that this number is a gross underestimate of the true burden of disease. 99% of rabies cases are dog-mediated and the burden of disease is disproportionally borne by rural poor populations, with approximately half of cases attributable to children under 15.

    Our work


    All →
    United Against Rabies collaboration: First annual progress report
    Global strategic plan to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030
    Vaccine Journal

    This Special Issue on rabies presents the evidence reviews, modelling work, and in-country studies that informed the 2018 position paper update; and identifies...


    Rabies is practically 100% fatal but is preventable through correct and timely use of modern rabies biologicals. India is the hotbed of human rabies as...


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    Rabies prevention
    Anne Marie Labouche
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    No bites = No rabies
    Anne Marie Labouche
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    Rabies prevention
    Anne Marie Labouche
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    66顺彩票appFacts in pictures

    More information

    Rabies in WHO regions


    Dr Bernadette Abela-Ridder

    Technical officer

    Ashok Moloo

    Information officer

    Telephone: +41 22 791 16 37
    Mobile phone: +41 79 540 50 86

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