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Experts Say Rabies Kills 24,000 People Annually In Africa

“Rabies kills 24,000 people a year in Africa, most of them children, because many on the world’s poorest continent cannot afford the cost of the vaccine, experts said on Thursday” at a conference of rabies experts held in Dakar, Reuters reports. “Africa is home to nearly half the 55,000 people around the world who die each year from rabies, caused mainly by bites from dogs contaminated with the virus,” the news agency adds. Herve Bourhy, a doctor with the Pasteur Institute in France, told reporters, “This is the disease of the poorest of the poor who can’t afford the vaccine,” according to the news agency. Because the cost of the vaccine is “prohibitively expensive” for many in African rural areas, “rabies experts from 15 sub-Saharan and north African countries who took part in the conference said the most effective way of avoiding the spread of the disease in many parts of Africa was simply to tie up dogs,” Reuters notes (Ba, 10/10).