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6 Tips to Keep People & Animals Safe from Rabies

Wednesday, October 3, 2018  
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Today is World Rabies Day, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is urging the public to remain vigilant by following six simple rabies prevention tips to protect people and animals.


"In the United States, human cases of rabies have become so uncommon that it's easy for people to become complacent and forget that the threat is real," said Dr. John de Jong, AVMA president. "But we have to remember that about 60,000 people around the world die from rabies every year. Half of these deaths are children under the age of 15, and all of them are preventable."


In the United States, one to two people die annually from rabies, but there were more than 4,900 reported cases of animal rabies in the U.S. in 2016. This included 257 cats and 58 dogs.

  • The AVMA recommends the following steps to help people protect themselves and their animals from rabies:
  • Talk with your veterinarian about vaccinating your dogs, cats, ferrets, horses and livestock against rabies.
  • Don’t let your pets roam free, where they may come into contact with rabid wildlife.
  • Bat-proof your home and other structures on your property.
  • Don’t leave exposed garbage or pet food outside. It will attract wild or stray animals.
  • Don’t keep wild animals as pets.
  • Keep your distance from wildlife and stray animals…even the cute ones!

World Rabies Day, created and coordinated annually by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control,  focuses on rabies-endemic countries to increase community awareness of the disease and its prevention. World Rabies Day also raises the profile of national and local control programs and acts as a springboard for year-round capacity building and awareness.

For more information on rabies and World Rabies Day, visit the
 AVMA World Rabies Day page.

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