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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

World Rabies Day

By September 28, 2011

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Rabies in wild animals - Photo courtesy of the CDCToday is World Rabies Day and it is a great time to learn about protecting your family from rabies.

With most of our pets getting rabies shots, few people think that rabies is a problem anymore. And that is mostly true - there have only been about 2 to 4 cases a year in the United States.

However, keep in mind that about 6 to 7,000 cases of rabies in animals, mostly wild animals, are reported each year. This leads to about 40,000 people having to get rabies shots after possible exposure to these types of animals so that they don't get rabies.

Vaccinating your pets (cats, ferrets, and dogs, etc.) and teaching your kids to stay away from wild animals, especially raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats, can help to prevent rabies though. It can also help you avoid a trip to your pediatrician or the health department for rabies shots.

Also be sure to know the risk of rabies when you are traveling out of the country. According to the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), rabies kills about 70,000 people each year, mostly in Africa and Asia.

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