WSU part of WHO plan for eliminating human rabies


By Charlie Powell, College of Veterinary Medicine

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is a vital link in the framework announced today for elimination of human rabies worldwide by 2030.

The World Health Organization announced in Geneva, Switzerland, a new framework to eliminate human rabies and save tens of thousands of lives each year. WSU faculty and researchers from the Allen School are actively involved and participating as key partners in the plan.

“Eliminating human deaths due to rabies, 99 percent of which are due to bites from rabid dogs, is for the first time in history within our grasp,” said Guy Palmer, WSU Regents professor of pathology and infectious disease and the university’s senior director of global health.

The plan is the construct of the WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Global Alliance for the Control of Rabies (GARC). WSU’s Allen School is part of the GARC and works with these partners around the world.

“The key to setting a date of 2030 has been the development of a science-based strategy to achieve a 70 percent level of canine vaccination,” Palmer said. “The Allen School is committed to realizing this previously unattainable, indeed unimaginable, goal.”

The research conducted to date shows clearly that vaccinating 70 percent of the dogs in a given population will reduce the number of human cases to zero.

Research conducted by the Allen School in Tanzania is done in cooperation with colleagues from the Serengeti Health Initiative, a consortium including the University of Glasgow, Lincoln Park Zoo and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority with vaccine provided by MSD Animal Health.

Please visit the Paul G. Allen School of Global Animal Health ( for more information on the rabies vaccination program. See a video at


Charlie Powell, WSU College of Veterinary Medicine public information officer, call or text 509-595-2017,