Each year 55,000 people die worldwide from Rabies. The fatal, zoonotic (can be transferred from animals to humans) disease attacks the nervous system of mammals.
Thankfully, in the U.S., responsible animal owners have helped protect animal and human life by having their pets vaccinated against the disease, reducing the number of human rabies cases to only three per year.
“This low number is partially a result of the availability of effective preventive treatment after a person sustains a potential exposure,” explains Dr. James Kazmierczak, State Public Health Veterinarian for the Wisconsin Division of Public Health. “It is estimated that about 40,000 persons receive the preventive rabies shots each year in this country.”
Although the number of human rabies cases has decreased over the past several decades because of stray animal control ordinances and better rabies vaccination coverage for pets, it is still a disease of significant public health concern.
“Rabies is a disease that is invariably fatal, and it remains a public health risk because the rabies virus is maintained in wildlife reservoirs such as bats and skunks,” Dr. Kazmierczak explains.
You can help reduce this risk by protecting your pets and your family.
If a person is bitten do the following:
If Your Pet has been bitten do the following:
Everyone needs to help protect the public and our pets from rabies, so keep these tips in mind!
For more information on this topic contact your local WVMA-member veterinarian or the WVMA at
Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association 2801 Crossroads Drive, Suite 1200 | Madison, WI 53718 | Phone: (608) 257-3665 | Fax: (608) 257-8989
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