Authors of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control study from the University of Glasgow suggested more should be done to vaccinate dogs, particularly in low-income countries.
Rabies is a fatal viral infection which is almost 100% preventable. The infection can infect all mammals, but domestic dogs cause more than 99% of all human deaths from rabies.
Most developed countries have eliminated rabies from their dog populations. But in many developing countries, rabies is still present in domestic dogs and is often poorly controlled. The report authors said vaccines for bite victims should also be more affordable and more widely available in these areas.
The vast majority of human deaths from rabies occur in Asia, Africa, and India. Source: BBC.
But, when the virus reaches the brain it multiplies, causing inflammation, and then moves from the brain to the salivary glands and saliva. Within 3 to 5 days, the animal begins to show unmistakable signs of rabies.
From various reports, we know the disease causes extreme pain and a chemical imbalance of the brain, which makes the animal to go mad and bite—hence the term mad dog.
I, for one, didn't know rabies was so prevalent. I've never known anyone who has been affected either, although I needed to receive Rabies immunization before I traveled from Australia to Bali in the 70s with my mother. Even there, I didn't see any sign of the disease. But tourists are kept well away from loathsome sights.
In Bali, I became very sick and spent half of the two week period weak and resting. I'd ingested something in the water although I took every precaution. 'Bali Belly'. Apparently, I shouldn't have eaten salad because it's washed with water. I now know travelers’ diarrhea is the most common illness contracted abroad, affecting 20-60% of overseas visitors.
But, back to rabies. It seems a simple vaccine for all overseas dogs could prevent this horrible disease.