World Rabies Day

World Rabies Day (WRD) is observed each year on September 28, promoted by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control to raise awareness of the consequences of human and animal rabies and how to prevent it. The date honors Louis Pasteur, who produced the first anti-rabies vaccine. Countries in the Americas participate in World Rabies Day with prevention and control activities, with the coordination and support of PAHO/WHO.

Rabies is present on all continents and affects over 150 countries. The disease is responsible for around 60,000 human deaths worldwide each year, and dogs are the source of infection in most cases of human rabies.

Since 1983, PAHO/WHO has coordinated the Program for the Elimination of Human Rabies Transmitted by Dogs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The program emphasizes timely pre- and post-exposure treatment, surveillance and laboratory diagnosis, mass vaccination of dogs, and health education on responsible pet ownership.


Deaths due to rabies can be prevented by vaccinating dogs so they do not become infected, keeping them at home rather than letting them roam free, and in case of a bite or scratch from an infected animal, washing the would immediately for 15 minutes and consulting a doctor to get an anti-rabies vaccine

World Rabies Day 2022 - Campaign Page

WRD Articles and Documents

27 Sep 2021
PAHO urges the countries to renew their commitment, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the elimination of human rabies transmitted by dogs in the region of the Americas Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 28 September, 2021 (PANAFTOSA/VPH-PAHO/WHO) - The World Rabies Day (WRD), established by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) and recognized…
30 Aug 2021
The World Rabies Day (WRD), established by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) and recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) every 28 September is an inspirational day to remember that preventing animal diseases does not only protect their health and well-being but also is one of the most effective steps to protect the health of…
25 Sep 2020
In 2019, there were 3 cases of human rabies, almost 98% less than in 1983, and Mexico became the first disease-free country. PAHO highlights the non-disruption of rabies programs during the pandemic PANAFTOSA/PAHO/WHO, 25 September 2020 – "End Rabies: Collaborate and Vaccinate" is the theme of World Rabies Day 2020, observed every 28 September to…
7 Jul 2020
On September 28, each year, World Rabies Day (WRD) is held to promote the fight against this disease, raise awareness on prevention and celebrate the achievements made. 
25 Sep 2018
According to PAHO, in the Region of the Americas, cases of rabies in humans fell from 258 to 13 between 1983 and 2018, and cases in dogs fell from 11,276 to 163 in the same period. Brasilia, Brazil, 25 September 2019 (PAHO/WHO)—Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are closer than ever to achieving the elimination of human deaths by rabies…
28 Sep 2012
Washington, D.C., 28 September 2012 (PAHO) - The number of human cases of rabies transmitted by dogs has declined some 95 percent in the Americas since 1980, thanks to prevention efforts carried out by countries with support from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). These efforts include mass vaccination of…
13 Sep 2010
The global response to World Rabies Day, first celebrated on 8 September 2007, illustrates widespread recognition of the need for action to control this devastating, but easily preventable disease. Strong partnerships were forged with key international and national organizations, partners and a multitude of professional…