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Rabies: Areas Where It's More Common

Topic Overview

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.

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

Related Information

References

Citations

  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.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Last Revised August 27, 2012

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