Wistar Institute, Philadelphia
"Rabies - A perpetual killer disease of humans challenges scientists, public health officials and governments"
One of the oldest known animal diseases and the cause of more human deaths of any of the known animal diseases continues to present significant challenges in the 21st Century to research scientists, veterinary and public health professionals, governments, educators, media, and lay people worldwide. Through the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, people from more than 85 countries are involved on all levels of society and ready to take some action toward global elimination of endemic rabies. This talk will highlight how research scientists locally met the challenge of a rapidly spreading ‘raccoon rabies’ throughout the mid-Atlantic states from Virginia to Canada from the early 1980’s and developed a vaccine that can be distributed in edible baits to control the spread of rabies in wildlife, especially raccoons. The situation of canine rabies control in developing countries of Asia and Africa will also be discussed. Of particular interest is the development of vaccines and treatments for rabies in humans that will contribute to the elimination of human deaths from canine rabies.