World Rabies Day

World Rabies Day Quick Facts - AU

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2024 Date28 September 2024
2025 Date28 September 2025

World Rabies Day

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World Rabies Day History

World Rabies Day is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness about rabies prevention and control measures, while promoting collaboration in the fight against this deadly virus. The observance encourages governments, organizations, professionals, and communities to work together in implementing comprehensive strategies that protect both humans and animals from rabies. By ensuring timely vaccinations, promoting responsible pet ownership, and increasing public knowledge of rabies transmission risks, the ultimate goal is to prevent and eventually eradicate this fatal disease.

The concept of World Rabies Day was established in 2006 by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) in collaboration with the World Health Organization, and the first observance was on 28 September 2007. In Australia, the risk of rabies is relatively low due to strict quarantine laws and comprehensive vaccination programs for domestic pets. However, Australians travelling to rabies-affected countries, particularly within the Asia-Pacific region, should be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions. Moreover, the deadly Australian Bat Lyssavirus is closely related to the rabies virus, making it equally important for Australians to stay informed and avoid contact with bats.

On World Rabies Day, various events, seminars, and activities are conducted across Australia to raise awareness and educate people about rabies prevention and control. Veterinary clinics, animal welfare organizations, and educational institutions often participate in these initiatives, offering information, promotional materials, and in some cases, discounted rabies vaccinations for pets. Like the rest of the world, World Rabies Day is observed in Australia on 28 September, highlighting the importance of a unified global effort against this deadly disease.

World Rabies Day facts

  • The theme for World Rabies Day in 2023 was All for 1.
  • Common rabies carriers include; raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes.
  • Dog bites are the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans.
  • In Australia, the lyssavirus that causes rabies is called Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL), which is closely related to the classic rabies virus. It causes an almost identical disease in humans.
  • There have been only three human cases of ABL in Australia since it was first identified in 1996. All three cases were fatal.

Top things to do in Australia for World Rabies Day

  • Make sure pet's vaccines are up to date.
  • Start by exploring websites like the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment or the Department of Health for information on rabies in Australia. These websites often provide facts, guidelines, and resources about the disease.
  • Get in touch with local animal control agencies, wildlife rescue groups, or veterinary clinics in your area. They may have resources, educational materials, or personnel who can provide information on rabies in Australia.

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