World Rabies Day—Sept. 28—Strives to Make Rabies History; AVMA Releases World Rabies Day Message on Video

Sep 26, 2011, 16:47 ET from American Veterinary Medical Association

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 26, 2011/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During the fifth annual World Rabies Day, on September 28, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is reminding everyone that rabies in pets is 100 percent preventable through vaccinations.

"Every year, more than 55,000 people around the globe die from rabies, and half of these people are children under the age of 15," says Chad Clancy, a committee member on the Merial Rabies Symposium, in an AVMA educational video on World Rabies Day. "An even sadder fact is that rabies is an entirely preventable disease."

The mission of World Rabies Day is to raise awareness of the impact of human and animal rabies and to emphasize how easy rabies is to prevent.  Around the world, 99 percent of human cases are caused by bites from infected dogs. These cases are preventable through proper vaccination of pet and feral dogs.

"When we stop to consider how many people and animals are affected by rabies every year, World Rabies Day is a stark reminder to all of us of the importance of rabies prevention, both domestically and globally," says Dr. Lynne White-Shim, AVMA assistant director of scientific activities.  "That we are observing the fifth year of World Rabies Day is a testament to the power of the myriad efforts around the world to control rabies, while also reminding us of the continued need for outreach and public-health measures."

Rabies is one of the most deadly infectious diseases; it is almost 100 percent fatal once symptoms begin. The disease has been largely controlled in the United States by vigilant vaccination of pets.

"Your veterinarian is your first line of defense against rabies," Clancy, a member of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association, says in the video.  "It's important to keep your animals vaccinated against rabies and up-to-date on that vaccination.  The rabies vaccine is very effective.  It's also important to keep your family members and pets away from wild animals."

For more information about rabies prevention, visit  To view the video, please visit AVMAtv at or, to download the video, go to the AVMA Media Library at  It's also up on Youtube. The AVMA invites journalists and members of the public to mark World Rabies Day by posting this video to their website, blog and/or Facebook.

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. More than 81,500 member veterinarians worldwide are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. The year 2011 is being celebrated by veterinarians around the world as Vet2011, the 250th anniversary of the birth of veterinary medicine and education.

SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association