Most of the people today think that this disease called Rabies no more exists but reality is completely different. According to American Veterinary Medical Association 55,000 people die worldwide every year from rabies. Majority of the cases occur in Asia and Africa, but US is also not immune. During the last year alone about 6,700 cases of rabies were reported in the US alone, and there are even cases of deaths occurring by rabies though very small in number.
Rabies (in the past also known as hydrophobia) is an infectious disease caused by rabies virus; according to morphological features it is included in the family of Rhabdoviridae.
The rabies virus causes specific encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in humans and animals. It is transmitted with the saliva of the bite from sick animal. Then, spreading through nervous system, the virus reaches the salivary glands and nerve cells of the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, bulbar centers, and hitting them, causing severe irreversible damage.
Rabies is found in all the continents except Australia and Antarctica. Rabies is also not registered in the island nations: Japan, New Zealand, Cyprus, and Malta. This disease has also not yet been recorded in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain and Portugal.
Natural type of rabies found in wild animals (wolf, fox, raccoon dog, jackal, fox, skunk, mongoose, bats) is different from urban type of rabies (dogs, cats, farm animals).