All mammals can be infected with rabies, which causes acute inflammation of the brain, and most infected animals can transmit the rabies virus to other animals – including pets and people.
With rare exception, infection is fatal.
Vietnam has experienced a sharp decrease in rabies fatalities over recent years. From 1991 to 1995, rabies caused an average 400 deaths per year. From 2010 to 2012 the number of deaths fell to 100 per year and in 2013 the death toll was 105.
So far this year, there have been 50 reported deaths from rabies, a significant drop compared to last year.
On average, the number of rabid dog bites is estimated at over 300,000 every year and the country spends more than VND300 billion per year for rabies vaccinations.
National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology Head Nguyen Tran Hien said World Rabies Day presents an opportune occasion to remind everyone of the impact the rabies virus continues to have on wildlife, domestic animals and humans and the importance of being cognizant of the dangers.
Since 2013, Hoa Binh has reported 12 deaths and thousands of people suspected of having been bitten by infected dogs have received vaccinations.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the representative office of Sanofi Pasteur Company in Vietnam.