World Rabies Day is an international campaign which is observed on September 28, 2023. September 28 is the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur who, with the collaboration of his colleagues, developed the first efficacious rabies vaccine. The United Nations Observance is coordinated by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, a non-profit organization with headquarters in the United States and the United Kingdom. World Rabies Day takes place each year.
World Rabies Day aims to raise awareness about the impact of rabies on humans and animals, provide information and advice on how to prevent the disease, and how individuals and organizations can help eliminate the main global sources. Events held to mark World Rabies Day range from symposia on current rabies control methods and public events for raising awareness about good prevention practice, to sponsored walks, runs or bike rides, to free or externally-subsidized vaccination clinics for dogs.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in warm-blooded animals. The disease is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted from one species to another, such as from dogs to humans, commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if postexposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.