Erasing rabies one vaccination at a time
Rabies is a deadly disease that can affect domestic animals, wild animals, and humans. It is caused by a virus and is mostly transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. The most common source of rabies in humans in under-developed nations is from exposure to unvaccinated dogs. Children are at greatest risk from rabies, since they are more likely to be bitten by dogs.
More than 55,000 people die from rabies every year – a rate of one person every ten minutes. Africa and India still bear the highest burden of total annual rabies deaths.[i] Countries with the highest fatalities from rabies are India, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, China and Myanmar.[ii] Because many of these areas do not have sophisticated medical services or easy access to hospitals, treatment is often unaffordable or unavailable. Fortunately, prevention through vaccination of dogs has been shown to be an effective way to halt the spread of rabies and save lives.
Twelve years ago, the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, together with health organizations around the world, set a goal of eliminating human rabies transmitted by dogs by 2030. Merck Animal Health is committed to this cause and is proud to support programs that help supply rabies vaccinations to areas in most risk for disease. That is why we donate Nobivac® rabies vaccines to rabies eradication programs, such as Mission Rabies, Washington State University Rabies Vaccination Program, and the Afya Serengeti. With all of us working together, we can erase rabies forever.
To learn more about our program, please visit afya.org or speak to your Merck Animal Health representative.
Written by Madeleine Stahl, DVM
Associate Director – Scientific Marketing Affairs
Merck Animal Health
[i] World Health Organization. Rabies Fact Sheet: Epidemiology.
[ii] Hampson K, et al. Estimating the global burden of endemic canine rabies. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015;9(4).