Rabies is unique among the viral diseases of man in that it kills virtually every individual it infects. The illness associated with the disease, in previous times referred to as hydrophobia, is particularly unpleasant for the victim but also for health care workers and relatives who have to witness it. Global estimates of death from rabies suggest that one person dies from the disease every 10 min, and more than 300 others are exposed. This claim is supported by a study of Malawian children with viral encephalitis, where 3 (11.5%) of 26 children originally clinically diagnosed with cerebral malaria were later laboratory-confirmed as having rabies suggesting that human disease is underreported in some rabies-endemic countries. The disease is distributed worldwide and is endemic in many countries causing an estimated 50,000–70,000 human deaths each year, although the true burden of the disease is unknown due to underreporting and poor surveillance systems in many areas of the world.