Logotipo del SMU


Uruguayan Medical Journal

ISSN: 1688-0390

Vol.34 - Nº 3 - Set. 2018

Previous Art | Index | Next Art

Rabies: 99.9% deadly, 100% preventable

Rev Med Urug 2018; 34: 164-171
Full text (spanish) |  Full text (spanish) (New windows, pdf) | Abstract


Rabies is a viral zoonosis that provokes severe and progressively fatal encephalitis, causing approximately 60,000 deaths per year. Most cases are reported in Africa and Asia, although it is globally distributed. Despite it being a disease that is about to be eradicated in the Americas, there has been an outbreak in new areas, affecting other countries in recent years.

In endemic areas, human cases are caused by bites of an infected dog, whereas in the rest of the countries it is associated to bites by wild animals. After the bite, the appropriate use of the post-exposure prophylaxis is universally effective. Thus, in order to reduce the global burden of human rabies, it is essential to control dog rabies and to make prophylaxis even more available. In Uruguay, although human rabies was eradicated in the 60s, we have witnessed an epidemiologically complex situation since 2007, upon the new introduction of animal rabies associated to bats. The medical and veterinarian community needs to be alert to avoid this new outbreak of human rabies. We need the joint efforts of human medicine, veterinarians, the population and government by means of public policies with the purpose of conducting epidemiological surveillance, and work towards controlling the dog population and applying prophylactic measures in humans after dog bites.

This review describes the situation in Uruguay, accounts for the clinical presentation of the disease and provides prophylactic guidelines