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Due to successful animal vaccination programs, human
rabies is uncommon in North America. But rabies can
occur in all areas throughout the United States except Hawaii.
Rabies is a much bigger problem in other parts of the world than it is in
North America, particularly in developing countries where it is most often
transmitted to humans through dog bites.1 Areas where
rabies is especially common include Africa, Asia, India, Indonesia, and Central
and South America. Travelers who will be spending time in rural parts of these
areas are encouraged to get vaccinated against rabies.
occurs in most regions of the world, except Antarctica and some island nations,
such as Japan and New Zealand. Some areas of Europe are also rabies-free,
including Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and most of Scandinavia.1
Plotkin SA, et al. (2009). Rhabdoviridae: Rabies virus. In RD Feigin et al., eds., Feigin and Cherry’s Textbook of Pediatrics Infectious Diseases, 6th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2494–2511. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
August 27, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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