Rabies, also known as hydrophobia in man, is among the most dreadful zoonotic diseases. It affects the central nervous system of humans and warm-blooded animals. The disease is transmitted from animal to animal and from animal to man through saliva. Despite being vaccine preventable, rabies kills more than 55,000 people worldwide every year apart from causing huge loss of domestic animals. Most human rabies deaths occur in Asia and Africa; India alone shares 36 % of the global burden. Rabies virus is present on all continents except Antarctica. Many strains of rabies virus and many animal species are involved in the maintenance and transmission of the disease. All mammalian species including nonhuman primates and humans are affected. Major reservoir hosts vary with the area. Canine rabies predominates in most of the developing countries. More than 90 % of cases of human rabies are transmitted by dogs which is a major concern for public health in these countries. However, the disease is present mainly in wildlife hosts in some other regions. Besides canines, skunks, mongooses, raccoons, and bats, domestic animals including cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and swine are also susceptible.
KeywordsRabies Virus Human Rabies Golden Jackal Rabies Virus Strain Striped Skunk
- CDC (2012) Rabies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/. Accessed 30 Mar 2012
- CFSPH (2009) Rabies. The Center for Food Security and Public Health, Iowa State University. Iowa. http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Factsheets/pdfs/rabies.pdf. Accessed 15 Mar 2011
- Clifton M (2010) How not to fight a rabies epidemic: a history in Bali. Asian Biomed 4:663–670Google Scholar
- OIE (2011) HANDISTATUS II. World Organisation for Animal Health, Paris, France. http://www.oie.int/animal-health-in-the-world/the-world-animal-health-information-system/data-before-2005-handistatus/. Accessed 15 Mar 2011
- OIE (2013) World Animal Health Information Database (WAHID) Interface. World Organisation for Animal Health. http://web.oie.int/wahis/public.php?page=home. Accessed 25 May 2013
- WHO (2012) Rabies. World Health Organization. www.who.int. Accessed 10 Mar 2012