Some Rabies Numbers

  • 69,000 – the annual number of human deaths worldwide due to rabies.
  • 20,000 – the annual number of human deaths in India due to rabies.
  • 30%–60% – the percentage of human rabies cases in India that are in children under 15 years of age.
  • 99% – the percentage of human rabies cases caused by dog bites.

In India, rabies is not a notifiable disease, so the true number of human and animal cases can’t be known.

Rabies in India

Rabies is still endemic in India, and the rest of Asia.

Stray dogs that contract the virus are a risk to people, pet dogs, other stray dogs, and other animals. 

To exacerbate the problem, many local Indians, especially in rural villages, do not know the correct course of action to take when bitten by a dog, or do not have access to the correct medical facilities. 

cartoon of mob beating a rabid dog

Sadly, these mob attacks on dogs that are suspected of having rabies are still common in India, especially where there are no animal welfare or veterinary facilities.

Rabies - a real life case

This stray dog was healthy and extremely friendly.  However one day she was found with bite and scratch marks on her legs and face.

She in turn bit three other dogs, two of which were pets. Shortly after, she started to exhibit symptoms of rabies and within three days she had died. All three dogs that she bit also developed rabies and died. 

None of the dogs were vaccinated… if they had been, this tragedy could have been prevented.