Epidemiology and burden of disease

A very wide distribution

Tens of thousands of people die each year from rabies.

Latin America and the Caribbean have had substantial reduction of the number of human and animal rabies cases due to canine rabies control programmes. Official reports of cases of human rabies transmitted by dogs decreased from about 250 in 1990 to fewer than 10 in 2010. The Pan American Health Organization has set a target to eliminate canine rabies from the Americas by 2015.

More information on the initiative

More human deaths from rabies occur in Asia than anywhere else in the world, with estimates of human mortality due to endemic canine rabies. Within Asia, India is reported to have the highest incidence of rabies globally, followed by Africa.

Little information is available on rabies in the Middle East or Central Asia and more investigation into the scale of the burden of rabies in much needed in these regions.

Country profiles

Rabies in the news

26 May 2014 | Geneva
A shortage of funds for vaccinating dogs is costing the lives of tens of thousands of children every year