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Rabies: A Killer Disease

S Nandi (Author)

Rabies, a dreadful and terrifying disease of warm blooded animals is not only a national but also a global problem.  Rabies is the most important viral zoonosis from a global perspective.  Although, the anti-rabies vaccine was first prepared by drying the rabies from infected rabbit brain long ago in 1885 by Louis Pasteur, over the years, lot of developments have been made in this field but the disease is still prevalent in many countries of the world.  It is a viral disease under the genus Lyssavirus and family Rhabdoviridae. The susceptible animal may be small mouse to a massive elephant.  Considering the global distribution, incidence, human and veterinary health costs, and severe case fatality ratio associated with the disease, rabies remains the most important viral zoonosis recognized today. Among human infections, rabies is believed to be the 10th most common cause of death.  Once clinical symptoms have occurred, the disease is almost invariably fatal.  According to WHO, there are 60,000 deaths from rabies per year in the world.  More than 99% of all human deaths from rabies occur in Africa, Asia and South America and Asia accounts for more than 90% of all rabies fatalities.  Children aged 5-15 years are at particular risk.  In India, about 0.7 million people undergo anti-rabies treatment annually with a death toll of 30,000 per year i.e. an annual incidence of 3 deaths per 100,000 population.  Annual incidences of 0.01-0.2 deaths per 100,000 are reported from Latin America and 0.01-13 deaths per 100,000 from Africa.

Globally, in terms of human disease dogs represent the most important reservoirs.  Rabies is endemic in 100 countries where more than 205 thousand million people live.  Rabies is enzootic in both wild and domestic animals and poses a potential threat to human beings.  Without pre or post exposure prophylaxis, rabies is almost always fatal.  Unlike small pox, a disease that has been virtually eradicated throughout the world and polio, which is in the process of being eradicated rabies will probably always persist because the picture has been complicated further due to presence of a number of rabies related viruses which can produce disease and death in animals and human beings.  The contrast between rabies and small pox or polio rests primarily in the fact that the rabies virus can infect all warm blooded animals, whereas infections with small pox and polio are limited to humans.

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About the author

S Nandi

Dr Sukdeb Nandi graduated in veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry in 1986 from Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidhyslaya, Mohanpur, Nadia, West Bengal and ranked third with distinction. He did his Master Degreee and Ph. D. in Veterinay Virology from Deemed University, Indian Veterinary Research Institute in 1988 and 1992 respectively. He had been associated with teaching, training and research on Veterinary Virology in the Deemed University, Indian Veterinary research Institute for the last 16 years. He is also involved in imparting trainings on serological and molecular diagnosis of different Viral Diseases of animals. He was awarded with DBT sponsored National Biotechnology Associate-ship and carried out research on biotechnological and molecular techniques of diagnosing the diseases at Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, CSIR Institute at Jadavpur, Kolkata from 1995 to 1996. he was also deputed to United Kingdom in 1998-1999 to undergo 'Transfer of Molecular Biology Training' (TOMBIT) at Institute for Animal Health, Pirbight to work on molecular aspects of Foot and Mouth Disease Virus. He has carried out research on Rabies, FMD, Sheep Pox, Goat Pox, bluetongue, Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis, classical swine fever and Parvovirus of Canine. He has visited different places in United Kingdom, Scotland and France. Presently, he is working as Senior Scientist at Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnosis, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, U.P. He is also the author of 'Manual of Viral Disease Investigation' – a book very much useful for the scientists, teachers, students, diagnostician and others who are working in this area. Other books in his credit are Veterinary Virlogy: at a glance, Avian Influenza of Bird flu and Rabies: a Killer disease.

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Bibliographic information

Title Rabies: A Killer Disease
Author S Nandi
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2009
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8181892771, 9788181892775
length 106p., Illustrations; Tables; References; Index; 23cm.