World Rabies Day 2017
World Rabies Day is the first and only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. This year's theme is "Rabies: Zero by 30," which supports the common goal of zero human deaths from canine rabies by 2030. Here are a few of our articles regarding everything you need to know about rabies, rabies prevention, and new rabies management recommendations.
An ethnographic study conducted in Canada reported underdeveloped dog bite surveillance and shortcomings in policies to prevent dog bites and rabies. The study’s findings, published in Social Science & Medicine, highlight the importance of One Health in combating human and animal health problems.
In a review article, Andres Velasco-Villa, PhD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues from around the world highlighted major milestones critical to eliminating dog-transmitted rabies in people and outlined impediments to achieving this goal.
At the 2017 American Veterinary Medical Association Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, Richard Ford, DVM, MS, DACVIM, spoke about must-know issues related to rabies vaccination. The audience-participation lecture touched on legal issues regarding rabies vaccination that affect veterinarians, owners, the public and, of course, animals.
Rabies vaccination may protect against diseases other than rabies, say the authors of a study published in Vaccine. In a population of free-roaming pet dogs in a low-income area of South Africa, rabies vaccination substantially reduced the risk of death by any cause. The effect was most pronounced in young puppies.
Results from a knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) survey conducted in Uganda revealed that poverty level heavily influences dog ownership and canine rabies vaccination coverage. Survey results were published in Infectious Diseases of Poverty. This study, according to the researchers, “represents one of the most comprehensive attempts to characterize the dog population and rabies risk in Uganda.”
Rich Ford, DVM, MS, DACVIM, DACVPM (Hon), conducted an educational audience participation session about rabies at the 2017 Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas.
A recent study of the rabies virus genome shows that two major subgroups of rabies virus, bat-related rabies and dog-related rabies, evolved in different ways. Humans probably had a hand in spreading dog-related rabies virus worldwide, according to a report in PLOS Pathogens, and the virus may require only minimal adaptive evolution to jump to new host species.
The US Department of Agriculture has begun its annual oral rabies vaccine program for wildlife, according to a news release from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The department is also field testing a newer marshmallow-flavored vaccine aimed mainly at raccoons and skunks.
Over 2700 people die of rabies each year in Ethiopia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rabies, which is endemic in dogs in Ethiopia, also causes livestock losses estimated at over $50 million USD. An article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report describes a pilot program to improve the reporting and management of dog bites in Gondar, Ethiopia.
Guidelines for rabies prevention include 2 significant changes in the recommended management of dogs and cats exposed to rabies. Dogs and cats that are overdue for a rabies vaccine booster may be able to receive a booster and 45 days of observation at home rather than undergoing quarantine or euthanasia. The recommended quarantine period for unvaccinated dogs and cats has been shortened from 6 months to 4 months.
According to a report in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a rabid dog was imported into the United States in 2015. This is the fourth reported incident in the past 11 years of a rabid dog being imported into the country. CDC officials are urging animal welfare agencies to rethink their practices of importing animals, especially since there are so many US-based animals that are in need of good homes—animals with verifiable vaccination records.