Rabies is “almost always” transmitted by bites and “almost invariably” fatal once disease develops in a person or animal. We use a lot of these kinds of disclaimers with infectious diseases, which can be frustrating, but it’s necessary because exceptional (strange) things occasionally occur.

A report in an upcoming edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases (

Rabies vaccination of dogs is legally required in many areas. In most of those, it must be given by a veterinarian, unlike some other vaccines that can be purchased from a veterinarian or supplier and administered by owners.

Why does a veterinarian have to administer rabies vaccines? There are a few reasons.

  • One is that

I’ve had a few discussions with people over the past week about geographic variation in disease risk. It’s a great subject because it’s an important and often overlooked issue. Whether it’s animals being imported, animals moving with their owners, animals accompanying owners on vacation or animals being moved between regions within the county, movement between

Echinococcus multilocularis (EM) is an important zoonotic tapeworm.  The situation with this parasite in Canada (and probably the US) is unclear and evolving. It’s increasingly clear that EM is present in a high percentage of wild canids (e.g. coyotes, foxes) in some regions. What this means for human health isn’t clear yet.

This tiny tapeworm

We often talk about rabies in the context of high GDP countries, focusing on wildlife rabies and exposure during travel. However, in many parts of the world, exposure to canine rabies is an ever-present risk, and there can be substantial barriers to getting proper post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) when needed. That’s part of the reason tens