Rabies is a viral zoonosis that causes an acute encephalitis not only in a variety of animal species but also in humans. It is endemic worldwide, but human death toll greatly differs from continent to continent. The World Health Organization estimates the number of human death cases to be in the range of about 30-60,000 per year. While in Europe and North America the number of human cases is low, it is highest in Asia and Africa, where dograbies is highly endemic. In Asia, an estimated 30,000 deaths occur annually. The highest burden of disease is probably seen in India, where up to 20,000 people die of rabies every year. Children in endemic areas are at particular high risk. About 40 percent of all animal bite exposures are seen in children below the age of 15. In Thailand up to 30% of all children will have been bitten by a dog by the age of 15. Rabies is virtually always fatal once clinical symptoms have developed; a few single cases of survival have been documented, but a break-through has still not occurred. Nevertheless, rabies is preventable by vaccination, either before or after an exposure has occurred. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) has been shown highly efficacious when administered in time after exposure and appropriately. This includes proper wound cleaning, administration of vaccine and â according to the category of exposure â administration of rabies immunoglobulin (RIG).
Rabies Pre-Exposure Vaccination in Rabies Endemic Countries: Claudius Malerczyk
Last date updated on July, 2014