Rabies is recognized as a neglected disease. It is a travesty that this entirely preventable but 99.9% fatal disease still causes the suffering it does.
During the next 10 minutes, at least one person will die from rabies. There's a good chance that person will be a child, let's imagine she's a girl. She will almost certainly be from Africa or Asia, and there's little chance she will have access to palliative care which might have made her final hours less anguished. Instead, she might be strapped to a bed or locked in room until death releases her. To die of rabies is not a gradual slipping from the world, it is tortuous exit. And death is certain. Rabies is 99.9% fatal, the highest fatality rate of any known disease.
However, there is hope for the 2 billion people who live at risk of rabies because it is also preventable.
One hundred and thirty years ago, Louis Pasteur successfully trialed the first rabies vaccine on a nine-year old French boy. World Rabies Day, September 28, commemorates the anniversary of Louis Pasteur's death and seeks to continue the work he started, toward global rabies elimination.
World Rabies Day is celebrated by hundreds of events involving millions of people. Each event raises awareness of the disease and its prevention.
The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) coordinates World Rabies Day and works with international organizations, including the FAO, OIE and WHO, governments, and stakeholders across the medical and veterinary sectors to bring about true and lasting change.
Vaccinating pets and livestock with close human contact is proven to prevent the spread of the virus to people. It's a win-win vaccination for people and pets, with economic benefits to boot.
Rabies elimination is possible - even in the world's poorest communities. Raise awareness, raise the profile because every death from rabies is one too many, we can #EndRabies TOGETHER!!!