World Rabies Day 2023: Theme and What Are the Other Animals Causing Rabies?

World Rabies Day is an annual event that is celebrated on September 28 that raise awareness about the world’s most infectious disease. 

This day also honours the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur, who developed the first rabies vaccine. It is a global day to raise awareness about rabies and its prevention.

Rabies is a viral disease that can affect any mammal, including humans. It is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals, typically through a bite. 

Once the virus enters the body, it travels to the brain and spinal cord, causing inflammation and eventually death.

Throughout history and across the world, rabies 🐕 has often been plagued with myths and folklore. This year, in anticipation of World #Rabies Day, we’re shining the spotlight on some of these legends.#WRD #WorldRabiesDay

— World Organisation for Animal Health (@WOAH)
September 26, 2023

What Is the History of World Rabies Day? 

This global health observance began in 2007 and it was launched by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It has since grown into a global event, with events held in over 150 countries around the world.

The goal of World Rabies Day is to raise awareness about rabies and its prevention and to promote collaboration between different organisations working to eliminate rabies. 

This day also aims to educate the public about the importance of vaccinating dogs against rabies.

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What Is the Theme of World Rabies Day 2023? 

The theme for World Rabies Day 2023 is “All for 1 – One Health for all”. This theme highlights the importance of One Health, a collaborative approach to health that recognises the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health.

One Health is essential for rabies prevention. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Therefore, it is important to control rabies in both animals and humans.

The most effective way to prevent rabies is through vaccination. Mass vaccination of dogs is the most important step in rabies control. 

Dog owners should also make sure that their dogs are vaccinated against rabies regularly.

Which Animals Spread Rabies? 

According to the National Library of Medicine, these animals are most likely to spread rabies: 

  • Dogs: Dogs are the main source of rabies infection for humans. Rabies is still common in many parts of the world, and dogs are responsible for the majority of human rabies deaths.
  • Bats: Bats are the second most common animal to spread rabies to humans. Bat bites are often small and difficult to notice, so people may not realize they have been exposed to rabies.
  • Raccoons: Raccoons are the most common wild animal to carry rabies in the United States.
  • Skunks: Skunks are another common wild animal that can carry rabies.
  • Foxes: Foxes are also known to carry rabies, but they are less common than raccoons and skunks in most parts of the United States.

Other animals that can spread rabies include coyotes, wolves, ferrets, and cats. However, these animals are less likely to come into contact with humans and pets, so they are less likely to spread the virus.

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World Rabies Day 2023 is a reminder that rabies is a serious global problem, but it is also a preventable one. 

By working together to vaccinate dogs and other animals, educate people about rabies, and report animal bites promptly, we can eliminate rabies and create a safer world for everyone.

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