World Rabies Day - September 28
Florida Department of Health and partners Florida Department of Agriculture,
Florida Animal Control Association, University of Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Wildlife
Rehabilitators Association and the Florida representatives for the United States
Humane Society are in support of the World Rabies Day mission to raise awareness
about: 1) the impact of human and animal rabies, 2) how easy it is to prevent
rabies from occurring, and 3) how to eliminate the main global sources.
Global Alliance for Rabies
Annual number of deaths from rabies hits 70,000
The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) today [28 Sep 2011] announces that
preliminary data released this month at the OIE Global Conference on Eliminating
Rabies has estimated 70 000 people worldwide die each year from rabies at a cost
of USD 4 billion.
The research, released to mark the importance of
World Rabies Day [28 Sep 2011], shows that deaths from rabies are on the
increase, with the disease reaching epidemic proportions in certain parts of the
It also confirms rabies as one of the most lethal
zoonotic, or animal-transmitted diseases, killing more people each year than
SARS, H5N1, and dengue fever, combined.
Although rabies is entirely preventable, controlling the disease has been
elusive in large portions of the developing world due to a lack of resources
with which to carry out vaccination programmes. The subsequent epidemic has
wrought a disproportionate effect on the young, with one child dying every 10
minutes from the disease.
Rabies places a dreadful economic burden on the
populations where it strikes, but this is only half the story, as it also brings
untold pain and suffering to victims and survivors. This is made all the worse
by the fact that we know it is preventable, and we call on governments and
health authorities around the world to join us in taking action," said Professor
Deborah Briggs, executive director, GARC.
"Research has proven that in those parts of the
world where dog rabies is present and comprehensive dog vaccination programmes
have been carried out in conjunction with an improvement in educational
awareness and availability of human vaccines, deaths from rabies have been
reduced to zero. Our pilot schemes show that we can replicate this success
around the world, saving human and animal lives. With the right commitment, this
problem could be addressed on a global scale,"
said Dr Elizabeth Miranda, Asian Coordinator, GARC.
"From a One Health perspective, controlling rabies infection is an excellent
example of the power of human, veterinary, and public health communities joining
forces to address a common issue. The historic strides in successful canine
vaccination campaigns resulted in elimination of canine rabies virus strain in
the United States and drastically decreased human cases of rabies. Yet the
global view, with tens of thousands of human cases, stresses the urgency with
which our work must continue. World Rabies Day is an excellent opportunity to
increase the understanding of the necessity of this work and I commend the
organizers of this Day as well as the tireless workers every day on preventing
and controlling this One Health disease".
- Dr. Lisa Conti, Associate Editor of the One Health Newletter.
The Division of Leon County Animal Control will join the list of
international partners who are rallied towards Working Together to Make Rabies
History! "Vaccinating your pet is the first line of defense in protecting not
only your pet, but your family and community."
-Richard Ziegler, President,
FL Animal Control Association and Director of Leon County Animal Control
For more, please visit
World Rabies Day Perspectives
PDF version of map (667 KB) Table by County and Animal (PDF
Brevard Community College World Rabies PSA
Santa Rosa County Health
Department In observance of World Rabies Day,
the Santa Rosa County Health Department and Santa Rosa County Animal Services
will host the 2nd Annual Rabies Drive Thru Vaccination Clinic for dogs and cats,
Friday, September 28, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 pm. at the Santa Rosa County Animal
Shelter, 4451 Pine Forest Road in Milton.
Local veterinarians, Dr.
Michael Mongue of Pace Veterinary Clinic, Dr. C. David Summerlin and Dr. Amy
Harper of The Ark Animal Hospital, will administer the injections to dogs and
cats. The fee is $10. Pets and owners will remain in the vehicle at all
times. No other services will be available at the clinic. A certificate of
vaccination and rabies tag will be provided for each pet that is vaccinated.
"We at the health department,
and I know Animal Services as well, are extremely grateful to these
veterinarians for taking time away from their own practices to provide this
valuable service to the community," said Mary Beverly, epidemiologist with the
Santa Rosa County Health Department. "Last year 197 dogs and cats were
vaccinated. We are hoping to exceed that number this year."
For more information on additional happenings around the country and around
the world, please visit
World Rabies Day Talking Points (83KB PDF)
For more rabies information from Florida Department of Health, visit our main
Of the 2,114 cases reported in 2010, the largest proportion of exposed persons
for whom treatment was recommended reported exposure to dogs (n=850, 46%). Other
animals to which people were exposed include cats (n= 445, 24%), raccoons
(n=241, 13%), and bats (n=144, 7%). Less numerous exposures included contact
with foxes (16), horses (14), otters (12), squirrels (8), bobcats (5), non-human
primates (4), opossums (3), ferrets (3), skunks (2), rats (2), a pig, a cougar,
a cow and exotic animal species. Though horse exposures are generally low risk,
the cases in 2010 were primarily due to exposure of rabies positive animals.
However squirrels, rats, opossums, owned ferrets, and cattle are generally low
risk species for rabies, and there were no cases of rabies reported in these
species. Twenty percent of the animals involved in exposures were reported to be
owned, 76% of these animals were dogs. Reasons for recommending PEP in cases
involving owned animals included face bites, gun shot to the animals head, and
captive wildlife that disappeared. In addition, PEP was inappropriately
recommended in some of these cases. Most 2010 PEP cases involved exposure to
stray (42%) or wild (23%) animals. Types of exposure were primarily bites (80%).
Scratches were reported in 9% of cases, unknown 6%, other in 4% of cases, saliva
in open wound (1.6%), handling (1.4%), bat in the room (1.3%) and saliva on a
mucous membrane (<1%) were also reported. Face bites were reported in 99 cases
(5%) and typically involved children (average case age years). Rabies PEP was
recommended in 1,992 cases but treatment was only known to be initiated 70% of
the time; reasons for PEP not being initiated included patient refusal or
inappropriate treatment recommendation by the health care provider.