India has highest rabies death in Asia


Almost 20,000 people die every year of rabies in India, making it the country with highest rabies fatalities in Asia and the second highest in the world, according to Association for Prevention and Control of Rabies in India.
"Globally, about 65,000 people die due to rabies. In Asia, India tops the list as many neighbouring countries have been able to control the disease," Association for Prevention and Control of Rabies in India, Secretary General Thomas Mathew said here.

"In Africa 45,000 people die every year while India ranks second with 20,000 death reported due to this disease," he added.

Stating that many countries such as the US, the UK, Japan, Taiwan and Mexico have been able to control rabies, he said, lack of awareness and proper education about the disease has been the reason for the problem.

A day ahead of the the two-day national conference on "Why Should Anyone die of Rabies in the 21st Century", he said the main cities along with four metros contributed to 30 per cent of the total deaths caused by rabies in India.

About 17.4 million people were exposed to animal bites annually, he added.

Pointing out reasons for the high fatality rate, UK-based Alliance of Rabies Control Executive Director Dr Deborah J Briggs said, "India has a large dog population, which is also one of the reasons for the current situation."

Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University Vice-Chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan will inaugurate the two-day conference tomorrow.