Rabies

Fooks, A. R.; Cliquet, F.; Finke, Stefan GND; Freuling, Conrad Martin GND; Hemachudha, T.; Mani, R. S.; Müller, Thomas GND; Nadin-Davis, S.; Picard-Meyer, E.; Wilde, H.; Banyard, A. C.

Rabies is a life-threatening neglected tropical disease: tens of thousands of cases are reported annually in endemic countries (mainly in Africa and Asia), although the actual numbers are most likely underestimated. Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is caused by infection with viruses of the Lyssavirus genus, which are transmitted via the saliva of an infected animal. Dogs are the most important reservoir for rabies viruses, and dog bites account for >99% of human cases. The virus first infects peripheral motor neurons, and symptoms occur after the virus reaches the central nervous system. Once clinical disease develops, it is almost certainly fatal. Primary prevention involves dog vaccination campaigns to reduce the virus reservoir. If exposure occurs, timely post-exposure prophylaxis can prevent the progression to clinical disease and involves appropriate wound care, the administration of rabies immunoglobulin and vaccination. A multifaceted approach for human rabies eradication that involves government support, disease awareness, vaccination of at-risk human populations and, most importantly, dog rabies control is necessary to achieve the WHO goal of reducing the number of cases of dog-mediated human rabies to zero by 2030.

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Fooks, A. / Cliquet, F. / Finke, Stefan / et al: Rabies. 2017.

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