Even though it is 100 percent preventable, rabies still claims the lives of more than 55,000 people around the world each year. Though the majority of these deaths are outside the U.S., there have recently been reports of rabies deaths close to home.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently reported that three people in the United States have died from rabies in the past year [view article]: In August, a U.S. soldier contracted the virus, presumably while deployed in Afghanistan, and later died. Also this summer, a Mexican migrant worker died from a vampire bat rabies virus variant. In late 2010, a Wisconsin man was admitted to the hospital and by the time doctors were able to determine it was rabies that was making him sick, it was too late.
The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) is joining organizations around the globe in support of World Rabies Day on Sept. 28, an annual event created to raise awareness and understanding about the importance of rabies prevention. World Rabies Day reinforces the message that although rabies is a preventable disease, it still kills thousands of people and pets worldwide needlessly each year.