Rabies, an invariably fatal disease, has been known and feared since antiquity and is usually caused by the bite of an infected animal. More than 98% of all human rabies deaths are caused by the bite(s) of rabid dogs. Rabies is distributed worldwide and can affect all mammals including humans. The virus responsible for rabies infects the central nervous system resulting in a neurological disorder characterized by horrific clinical signs and symptoms in both animals and humans. Rabies poses a substantial threat to human health, killing more than 150 people every day and approximately 40% of bite victims are children. The psychological impacts following bites by a rabid animal can be traumatic. The high costs of life-saving human vaccines and hospitalization, and livestock losses to farmers have large economic impacts especially on poor communities. Rabies also threatens the survival of endangered wildlife species. Controlling rabies is critically important to prevent human deaths and alleviate its burden in animal species and on local and national economies. Read here for more information on rabies.
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