World Rabies Day is celebrated on 28th of September each year which marks to raise the awareness about impact of rabies on animals and humans. The theme decided for World Rabies Day 2018 is "Rabies: Share the message. Save a life". This shines the importance of education and awareness to prevent rabies.
World Rabies Day is marked on the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur, the scientist who has first developed the rabies vaccine in collaboration with his colleague.
The World Rabies Day is an initiative of Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Observance of the day was started in 2007 to create a global opportunity for people to target on rabies prevention.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of brain (acute encephalitis) in warm-blooded animals. It is zoonotic disease i.e. transmitted from one species to another, commonly by bite from infected animal such as dogs to humans.
The rabies virus infects the central nervous system (CNS) and ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. Domestic dogs are the most common reservoir of the rabies virus.
The basic aim of World Rabies Day is to target rabies endemic countries to increase community awareness of the disease and its prevention. The day also raises the profile of national & local control programmes and acts as a springboard for year-round capacity building and awareness.
The observance of World Rabies Day seeks to build awareness about the impact of rabies on animals and human beings. It also seeks to share information on how to prevent disease and highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease.
Today, safe and efficacious animal and human vaccines are among the important tools that exist to reduce human deaths from rabies while awareness is the key driver for success of communities to engage in effective rabies prevention.
Rabies infection has reduced by 55 per cent in the last 20 years. In 2010, around 26,000 people died from rabies compared to 54,000 in 1990.