Saturday, September 28 is World Rabies Day, and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is reminding the international community that rabies still kills people. In fact, the disease kills as many as 70,000 each year, many of them children in developing countries who have been bitten by stray dogs.

Rabies is one of the diseases targeted as a priority by the OIE, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), within the framework of their joint “One Health” approach.
To mark World Rabies Day, the OIE has released a video featuring Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Al Hussein, daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and wife of the ruler of Dubai.The video is intended to build awareness and encourage vaccination of dogs. The video is available on the OIE Rabies Portal.

In addition to that and other videos, the portal houses a wealth of information about rabies, prevention and control and links to technical expertise on the disease, including the seven OIE Reference Laboratories designated for rabies. These function as centers of expertise and standardization of diagnostic techniques.

The Reference Experts, responsible to the OIE and its Member Countries and Territories are leading and active researchers helping the Reference Laboratory to provide scientific and technical assistance and expert advice on surveillance and control of the disease. They also provide scientific and technical training for Member Countries and Territories, and coordinate scientific and technical studies in collaboration with other laboratories or organizations. The list on the portal includes Reference Laboratories and experts for a wide range of diseases besides rabies.

Following is the U.S. Reference Expert for rabies included in the list:

Dr Richard Franka
Poxvirus and Rabies Branch
Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, NE, Mail Stop G33
Atlanta, GA 30 333
Tel: +1-404 639.10.50   Fax: +1-404 639.15.64