Updated April 24, 2017

Rabies is a rare viral central nervous system infection most often transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mammal. Rabies occurs worldwide, although most human deaths occur in Asia and Africa. The disease occurs very rarely in Canada; most recent cases in humans have been due to bat exposures.

Pre-exposure immunization and post-exposure prophylaxis are highly effective in preventing rabies. However, if not prevented, rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms develop.