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