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The World in Medicine
February 21, 2007

Rabies and Snake Bites

JAMA. 2007;297(7):686. doi:10.1001/jama.297.7.686-c

The World Health Organization announced creation of a $10 million 5-year plan to improve access in developing countries to treatment for rabies, snake bites, and scorpion stings.

More than 12 million people are bitten by dogs or snakes or stung by scorpions each year, but the therapeutic sera needed to treat these conditions is often unavailable or prohibitively expensive in the countries where it is most needed. More than 99% of human deaths from rabies occur in Africa and Asia; most of the 5 million snake bites and scorpion stings recorded each year are in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.