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Medical News & Perspectives
October 17, 2007

Global Effort Takes Aim at Rabies

JAMA. 2007;298(15):1749-1750. doi:10.1001/jama.298.15.1749

Atlanta—Despite a major milestone in public health—the elimination of canine rabies in the United States—rabies control experts caution that continued vigilance is needed worldwide to reduce the 55 000 human deaths that occur annually from the preventable viral illness transmitted by dogs and such wildlife as raccoons, bats, and skunks.

Researchers who gathered here on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) campus for the first World Rabies Day symposium in early September reported that canine transmission remains the leading cause of human rabies cases in developing countries and that importation of unvaccinated dogs from rabies-endemic areas could endanger humans and animals in the United States.