High risk of rabies outbreak due to low vaccination coverage of dogs in Spain

MADRID – According to an epidemiological report about rabies in Spain from MSD Animal Health there is a high risk of a rabies outbreak due to the low vaccination coverage of dogs. This disease affects more than 150 countries and kills 60,000 people annually, according to the World Day Against Rabies on September 28 each year.

The situation in Spain is especially critical in certain autonomous regions such as Catalonia, where since 2019 there has been a very low frequency of rabies vaccination with a vaccination coverage that has not reached 12% since that year.

In Spain, it is the regional government in the Autonomous Communities that implements the vaccination strategy determined against rabies. in principle, it is mandatory throughout Spain, except in Galicia, the Basque Country and Catalonia, while in Asturias the vaccine is only mandatory in potentially dangerous dogs (PPP). As a result, the vaccination rate in Spain is very low in those regions where it is not mandatory, but unfortunately also where it is mandatory, according to the report.

MSD Animal Health has always championed an annual mandatory vaccination protocol in Spain against rabies for dogs, cats and ferrets with the aim of ending this dangerous zoonosis that can be fatal to humans.

As mentioned, this disease affects more than 150 countries and causes the death of about 60,000 people every year, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). For this reason, the WHO recommends the vaccination of at least 70% of dogs in risk areas to reduce human cases to zero. That’s relevant since rabies has a 99% mortality rate once it’s manifested in humans.

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