An end to Rabies. Pie in the sky, or achievable goal? (Click here to read about the disease, Rabies.)
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association and the World Organization for Animal Health believe they can team up, with help, to win the battle.
As stated in their Paris meeting, November, 2013, their focus will be Rabies in free-roaming dogs. Their vehicle will be worldwide mass rabies vaccination initiative.
They cite Tanzania, Chile and Argentina as success stories, yet, none of those countries is bat-rabies free. Therefore, anywhere a nidus of infection exists, the potential for overflow back into domesticated animals exists.
According to their statistics, Rabies kills 150 people each day, worldwide, and costs about $5 billion dollars annually to fight. To get the first number lower, the second number will have to go higher. Much higher.
Bernard Vallat, a veterinarian, states that over 95 percent of human rabies cases come from dog bites. Dr. Vallat, director-general of the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health and co-chair of the November One Health Symposium, says, “Vaccination of dogs remains the most cost-effective, single intervention that protects humans from contracting the disease.”
Given that the United States has been unable to eradicate terrestrial-animal Rabies, it seems likely that worldwide eradication, including underdeveloped countries, is an uphill climb requiring unthinkable horsepower.
That said, our hopes and prayers are with them.
See you next week, Dr. Randolph.