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Rabies, caused by lyssavirus infection, is a disease that cannot be cured, so attention remains focused on the epidemiology of the disease and prophylactic intervention such as animal and human vaccination. Mary and David Warrell, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, emphasize the importance of rabies-related viruses in Europe and prevention of this fatal disease worldwide.
Mary Warrell comments, "The greatest challenge to rabies control worldwide is the extent of the dog rabies epizootic in Asia and Africa. Control is hindered by ignorance of the varied ecology of the disease. A current World Health Organization (WHO) initiative in Asia may yield data to direct implementation of potentially highly efficient methods to control dog rabies and also ensure safer, more appropriate human prophylaxis".
"In Europe, moves to improve surveillance should reveal more detail of the distribution of European bat lyssavirus infection," she adds.
Source: The Lancet