Neglected tropical diseases

WHO, FAO and OIE unite in their goal to eliminate human rabies and control the disease in animals

Rabies kills more than 60 000 people each year

02 October 2013 | Geneva
© Daniel Stewart
Rabies kills more than 60 000 people annually, most of them children

Rabies is a zoonotic disease caused by a virus. It is spread to humans through close contact with infectious material, usually saliva through bites or scratches.

Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths, with more than 95% of fatalities occurring in Asia and Africa. Four out of every ten people who die from rabies are children.

This year on World Rabies Day (28 September), three international organizations – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) - issued a joint statement promising to eliminate human rabies and control the disease in animals.

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