An infectious virus that attacks the central nervous system, rabies can affect any mammal. It generally spreads through bites (or scratches) from an infected animal, and because it can be transmitted to humans it is a serious public health concern in certain parts of the world. Once infection has set in, rabies is almost always fatal, although treatment immediately following exposure can save a person’s life. Many countries have mandatory immunization programs for pets that have greatly reduced the cases of rabies. Today, the animals most commonly infected with rabies are wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and bats.
Prevention by vaccination is the most important tool in the fight against rabies. Merial is the world’s leading producer of rabies vaccines for domestic and wild animals1, as well as an advocate for mass vaccination programs and educational initiatives.
More info on Global Alliance for Rabies Control.