Because most pets today are vaccinated to prevent rabies, infections in humans are pretty rare. Only 36 cases since 1980 have been reported, though 40,000 people each year receive treatment to prevent potential infections from suspicious animal bites. It may be helpful to note that of the 36 cases, 21 were connected to bats rather than domesticated animals (such as dogs).
In the United States, rabies is rare because most pets receive rabies vaccinations. Since 1980, only 36 cases have been reported. Approximately 40,000 people each year receive preventative treatment for rabies.
Rabies may not affect the United States much, but according to the World Health Organization over 55,000 people from 150 countries die of the disease each year, 99% of which are from dog bites. Worldwide 15 million people are treated immediately after a bite, preventing infection to an estimated 327,000.
A recent study of a Texan girl to recover from rabies (only the 7th known to survive worldwide) without intensive care poses questions to scientists as to whether some humans may be able to fight off rabies and recover before doctors correctly diagnose them.
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