World Rabies Day: A Complete History

September 28th 2020 is the 14th World Rabies Day which is an international awareness campaign coordinated by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, a non-profit organisation with its Headquarters in the United States.  Endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Rabies Day takes place on the 28th September each year specifically because this is the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur who with his colleagues was responsible for developing the first rabies vaccine.  If you require the rabies vaccine, then you can arrange an appointment at our travel vaccinations clinic in Epsom.

Rabies is a rare but very serious disease of the brain and central nervous system commonly caught from the bite or scratch of an infected animal.  It is found in certain parts of the world especially South and Central America and parts of Africa and Asia.  World Rabies Day aims to raise awareness about the impact of rabies, rabies symptoms, rabies preventative measures and how to manage the risks of the disease and the ramifications on both humans and animals. 

The history of World Rabies Day is interesting as it was conceived due to concerns that it was a neglected disease but one with very serious implications.  In the years that followed its inception in 2007, World Rabies Day has been used as a vehicle by governments and international agencies to announce plans and policies on the elimination of rabies.   Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear, but treatment before this is very effective and of course, the vaccine also offers protection for those at risk on their travels.

Without treatment, the symptoms of rabies will usually appear anywhere between three and twelve weeks after exposure.  Typically they start with a high temperature and a headache and the sufferer will feel generally unwell and possibly even anxious.  Symptoms progress rapidly to include creeping paralysis which eventually renders the victim unable to move or breathe.  World Rabies Day is a concerted effort to stamp out this disease through education, information and globally coordinated efforts.

You can arrange the rabies vaccine at our travel vaccinations clinic in Epsom where you can receive comprehensive advice about how to manage the rabies risk whilst you are abroad.  There is more information available on our website plus an online booking form. Visit