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Events Highlight the Impact of Rabies on People, Pets and Wildlife

Posted by Gail Keirn, USDA APHIS Public Affairs Specialist in Animals Plants
Feb 21, 2017
Rabies in the Americas Logo
USDA is honored to host the 26th Rabies in the Americas conference in Fort Collin, Colorado, beginning Sunday, Oct. 4.

What do raccoons, vampire bats, and mongooses have in common? All are wildlife species that are commonly associated with rabies and can potentially expose people, pets and livestock to the deadly virus.  

The significant impact of rabies on public and animal health will be the focus of the 26th Rabies in the Americas conference in Fort Collin, Colorado, on October 4-8.  This is the first time this important international conference will be held in Colorado and be hosted by APHIS, according to Richard Chipman, coordinator for APHIS-Wildlife Services’ (WS) National Rabies Management Program.

The annual meeting typically includes 300 attendees from more than 20 countries across five continents. It provides an opportunity for researchers, health professionals, rabies program managers, wildlife biologists, laboratory personnel, and other people interested in advancing knowledge about rabies surveillance, prevention and control, to meet, share their successes, and discuss challenges.

Dr. Kurt VerCauteren, a research wildlife biologist at WS’ National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) and member of the conference planning committee, say that, as a scientist, he looks forward to discussing new ideas, strategies and tools for controlling rabies with his international colleagues.  Dr. VerCauteren notes the agenda includes talks from renowned rabies experts on diagnostic technologies, economics, human rabies prophylaxis, vaccine developments, outbreak response plans, and epidemiology, as well as domestic and wild animal research.

World Rabies Day logo
World Rabies Day was commemorated on Monday to draw attention to ways to prevent rabies, which kills more than 60,000 people worldwide each year.

In addition to supporting the Rabies in the Americas conference this fall, APHIS also celebrated World Rabies Day on September 28. The mission of World Rabies Day is to raise awareness about the impact of human and animal rabies, how easy it is to prevent it, and how to eliminate the main global sources. This year’s theme is #EndRabiesTogether.

Rabies in domestic animals and wildlife is a concern in many areas around the world.  In the United States, wildlife accounts for approximately 92 percent of all reported rabies cases.  Each year, APHIS and its partners distribute approximately 8 million oral rabies vaccine baits to prevent the spread of rabies in wildlife. In other areas, such as in Mexico and South America, rabies is still prevalent in dogs. More than 60,000 people worldwide die from rabies each year.

To learn more about APHIS’ work related to rabies, please visit the following:

Category/Topic: Animals Plants

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Bob Meyer
Oct 02, 2015

Is there a site to register and obtain an agenda?

Kris V
Oct 05, 2015

What about the suffering breeding dogs in USDA-licensed operations? They get NO care whatsoever. Inspectors don't write up violations, including not having rabies vaccines! Why is this never addressed by anyone in APHIS?