Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

CDC says US is Canine Rabies-Free

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently declared that the United States is canine rabies-free.

Coincident with the recognition of World Rabies Day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has formally declared the elimination of the type of rabies previously found in dogs in the United States. This declaration is supported by animal rabies surveillance nationally.

Who knew there was a World Rabies Day being planned?

Rabies in humans is preventable, yet accounts for at least 55,000 deaths annually around the world—almost one death every 10 minutes. The World Rabies Day initiative, founded by CDC and the UK charity Alliance for Rabies Control and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), aims to bring together the appropriate stakeholders to raise awareness and funding for rabies prevention and control globally.

But don't get excited and start thinking you're going to save $ on rabies shots.

The elimination of dog-to-dog transmission of rabies does not mean that people in the US can stop vaccinating their pets against rabies...[According to the chief of the CDC Rabies Program], "Rabies is ever-present in wildlife and can be transmitted to dogs or other pets. We need to stay vigilant."

Despite the elimination of canine-rabies, the disease remains a human threat in the US particularly from bats. Rabies also remains a potential threat through spillover infections from wildlife to domestic animals adaptation to new animal reservoirs, movement of potentially infected animals, and lack of adequate vaccination coverage of domestic animals, particularly cats and dogs.

Not to be a killjoy, but I do have a concern with the following sentence..

In the United States, canine-rabies elimination was achieved through implementation of dog vaccination and licensing, and stray dog control.

Probably me, but the term "stray dog control" makes me wonder what type of control measures they are referring to....

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