Human rabies continues to be a significant cause of global concern. Each year approximately 59,000 individuals die from dog-mediated rabies. Due to the lack of laboratory confirmation, sporadic epidemiological surveillance and unreported clinical cases in developing countries, current mortality estimates almost certainly under-represent the true incidence of human rabies deaths. Rabies is a viral zoonotic disease that causes progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Rabies virus belongs to the order Mononegavirales, viruses with a non-segmented, negative-stranded RNA genomes.
Despite this zoonosis is a vaccine-preventable viral disease, it is still endemic, with the highest burden encountered in low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa.
Rabies is most commonly found in wild animals like bats, raccoons, foxes and skunks. Pets and livestock can also get rabies - most pets get rabies from having contact with wildlife. Rabies virus is transmitted through direct contact with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal. Dogs are contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans. Although cats are more likely to get the disease, they are less likely to spread it.
In this complex context, the international community has called for the world to be canine rabies-free by 2030 (Zero by 30); specifically, no indigenously acquired dog-mediated rabies cases among humans are to be achieved by the end of this decade. In order to accomplish the goal of “Zero by 2030”, post-pandemic challenges to augment control and prevention are multiple and need urgent actions to achieve success in just eight years.
The Global Strategic Plan (GSP) to End Human Deaths from Dog-mediated Rabies by 2030, launched in June 2018, targets the disease at the level of dog reservoir, aligns efforts to prevent human rabies and strengthen animal and human health systems. Such efforts should comprehensively consider the need for a multidisciplinary One Health intervention at several levels including the integration of actions between the WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), that set the target for global dog-mediated human rabies elimination by 2030. Equally important are interventions to be carried out at local levels by multidisciplinary teams in the control and prevention of disease in humans and animals. These are the multisectoral engagement and approach implemented under the umbrella of One Health collaboration, including community education, awareness programmes and vaccination campaigns.
This webinar aims to raise awareness of various aspects related to rabies for both healthcare workers and the public.
1. To describe rabies virology and vaccination.
2. Global epidemiology of rabies.
3. Specify the importance of different animal reservoirs in the spread of the virus.
4. To explain One Health perspectives in rabies elimination.
Rehab Tash is an associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology at Zagazig University, Egypt and an infection control consultant and auditor. Dr Tash is a certified associate trainer (International Board of Certified Trainers) and CIPT (Certified International Professional Trainer ) and has a diploma of health professions education (DHPE/SCU). She shared in designing and conducting a Masters degree of infection prevention and control (IPC) at Zagazig School of Medicine, and training programs for health care workers in IPC & quality. She is an author and editor of infection control books (Arabic and English).
Alfonso J. Rodriguez-Morales is an expert in tropical and emerging diseases, particularly in zoonotic and vector-borne diseases (especially arboviral diseases), now including COVID-19. He is President of the Publications and Research Committee of the Pan-American Infectious Diseases Association (API), as well as President of the Colombian Association of Infectious Diseases (ACIN).
He is member of the Committee on Tropical Medicine, Zoonoses and Travel Medicine of ACIN. He is Vice President of the Latin American Society for Travel Medicine (SLAMVI) and Member of the Council of the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID).
J. Scott Weese is a veterinary internist, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He is a Professor at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Director of the University of Guelph Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, Chief of Infection Control at the Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre, and is a member of the Tripartite Global Leaders Group on AMR and Chair of the WHO Advisory Group for Critically Important Antimicrobials in Human Medicine.
Nissreen ElSayed Elbadawy is a professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology at the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt. She has previous experience as consultant of immunotherapy in an immunology unit, investigator in molecular biology unit, and consultant of infection control in Zagazig University Hospitals.
Fatma Amer is past head of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig, Egypt where she is an emeritus professor. She is an Executive Committee member of ISAC and Chair of the ISAC Viral Infection Working Group. She has extensive work and research on virology and viral infections, particularly hepatitis C virus type, and published for the first time (in Egypt and worldwide) the mutants responsible for resistance to DAAs among Egyptian HCV genotype 4a patients. She is a consultant for the WHO Advisory Group of the Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine (AG-CIA) and for Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) nationally, regionally and internationally.