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World Rabies Day 2023

21 Sep 2023

World Rabies Day is held on 28 September each year on the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur, to celebrate his life and work as the first person to successfully create a vaccine against rabies.

This year's theme is "Rabies: All For 1, One Health For All".  Based on the novel “TheThree Musketeers” in which the heroes overcame injustice and strife as a team to achieve their goals, the 2023 theme aims to remind the global community they need to work together towards overcoming injustice (imbalanced healthcare systems) and strife to achieve the global goal of eliminating rabies in humans by the year 2030 (Zero by 30).

See the Global Alliance for Rabies Control website for information on how you can get involved with the World Rabies Day campaign.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a serious viral infection which affects the brain and nerves. The virus is spread through the saliva of infected animals. People usually become infected with rabies following a bite or scratch from an infected animal.

  • 99.9% of people who become infected with rabies will die.
  • Worldwide more than 59,000 people die from rabies every year.
  • Over 95% of people who die from rabies are located in Africa and Asia, following a bite from an infected dog, although it is very important to understand that other animals such as monkeys and cats can also carry the virus
  • Nearly half of those bitten by rabies-infected animals each year are children under 15 years.
  • Effective and safe vaccines exist for both humans and dogs, and if given are highly protective.

See the fitfortravel Rabies page for more information on the disease, and how you can protect yourself against rabies when travelling abroad.