Could we eradicate rabies for just 10% of current spend?

The head of the World Health Organization for Animals (OIE), Bernard Vallat, has released a video ahead of the forthcoming Global Conference on Rabies, to be held in Seoul, Korea 7th-9th September 2011.

Nearly all people who get rabies (at least 95%) are infected by a bite or scratch from a rabid dog. In the video Dr. Vallet reveals the shocking statistic that if just 10% of the resources spent on treating people after they have been bitten by a rabid (or suspected rabid) animal, were spent on vaccinating dogs worldwide, we would be able to erradicate human rabies cases.

Diverting efforts to eradicating rabies in dogs would save over 55 000 human lives, would lift enormous financial burden on the families of bite victims (overwhelming already amongst the world\'s poorest people), and would save dog lives too.

This figure confirms our own findings and we have spearheaded this approach in our work for some time. The success of projects like Bohol have shown that human rabies can indeed be eliminated, where the disease is controlled in the dog population.