Around the World: Dogs and Global Rabies Transmission

Published on in Parents PACK

Lyssavirus Host animals found Around the WorldOne way to promote rabies prevention is to be educated about animals likely to be infected with rabies where you live. Dogs are the source of 99 percent of all animal-to-human rabies transmissions worldwide. In industrialized countries, this common cause of transmission has been controlled by vaccination of dogs. In the United States, wildlife such as skunks, raccoons and bats are the most common hosts. In colder climates such as Canada and Russia, the arctic fox is the most common host. 

Though most people do not receive the vaccine as a preventive measure, the World Health Organization does recommend preventative immunization for certain high-risk groups. Those groups include laboratory personnel working with rabies or related viruses; other professionals who might come into contact with host mammals in rabies-affected areas; travelers who spend a lot of time outdoors in rural areas; or those at significant risk of dog bites.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.