RABIES is an almost invariably fatal zoonosis which is endemic in wildlife and/or domestic animals in most parts of the world. Safe and effective pre-exposure vaccination is available for man, all domestic and many wildlife species. Post-exposure treatment in man is also effective but must be undertaken as soon as possible after infection. The aim of this article is to provide veterinarians unfamiliar with the disease with an understanding of the biology of rabies. A second article, to be published in the next issue, will describe the clinical disease and its control.
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