Ten things you never knew about…rabies

1. The World Health Organization (WHO) says more than 59,000 people die of rabies every year. 

2. Worldwide, about 99 per cent of rabies cases in humans are caused by dog bites… 

3. … but in the Americas, the majority of cases are caused by bats. 

4. The word rabies comes from a Latin word meaning savageness. The Latin verb rabere meant to rage, rave or be mad. 

5. If bitten by a rabid dog (or bat), the wound should be washed immediately in soap and water and a vaccination given as soon as possible. Such action has saved hundreds of thousands of lives. 

6. Britain’s quarantine laws were introduced in the 19th century to prevent rabies entering the UK. 

7. Dogs have been quarantined here since 1897, cats since 1928 and ferrets since 2004. 

8. There have been four deaths from rabies in the UK since 2000, all of people bitten by dogs abroad. 

9. The WHO is working on a strategy to achieve zero human rabies deaths by 2030. 

10. Rabies is an anagram of a country (Serbia) and a way of cooking (braise).