Rabies In The Americas - RITA Inc., is an international, non-governmental, non-profit institution with professional focus on Rabies. Its activities include the organization of a major annual conference, held in a different country each year. The Rabies in the Americas Conference began in 1990 with the initial participation and representation of three countries: United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 2006, Brazil hosted the conference for the first time, in the capital city of Brasilia. In 2011, representatives from Brazil became members of RITA´s International Scientific Committee and remained as such for the annual conferences held in 2012 and in 2016, respectively in the cities of São Paulo and Belem. In 2018, Argentina hosted the annual conference and joined the Committee.
RITA encompasses the multidisciplinary experience of the professionals who work in all fields of knowledge related to the disease in the Americas and elsewhere. The scope of the work includes the monitoring of the disease, research studies, and scientific production in the Americas and in other countries around the world. The work in all the fields of human and animal health is based on the “One Health” approach, in view of the instigating and challenging scenarios.
This annual event is comprised of conferences, oral presentation of scientific papers, and posters. The George M. Baer Award is granted to one (1) original and innovative scientific paper. The award winner – a researcher from Latin America - is chosen by the International Scientific Committee. The RITA Annual Conference is held in at least three (3) languages – English, Spanish, and Portuguese, with simultaneous translations in all three languages. reflecting the member countries from the Americas. Although the member countries are in the Americas, RITA is open to professionals from other countries around the world.
RITA´s objective is to present and discuss recent research studies and/or developments on aspects related to monitoring, control, diagnosis, and prevention of rabies. The target audience is comprised of researchers, members of the academic community, professionals from regulatory agencies, students, and public health professionals. The conference, which focuses the One Health approach, is an excellent forum for productive interactions among scientists, physicians, veterinarians, government employees in the field of public health, wildlife biologists, and other biomedical professionals. RITA provides a unique opportunity for learning experiences regarding the latest developments in the field of rabies, as well as the possibility of establishing contacts with colleagues from all around the world and of raising and divulging the profile of sponsoring agencies in the global scenario.
Ever since the first annual conference, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, RITA has evolved from a small meeting of colleagues with similar ideas to an international event whose importance is acknowledged by all professionals working in the field of rabies. RITA is currently the oldest conference of its kind. It is independent, open to all those who are interested in this field and is the world´s biggest event specifically focused on rabies.
In 2020, due to the COVID pandemic, the conference was held in Mexico in on-line format. More than 2000 people from many Latin American countries – and from other countries around the world – participated in the event. This huge turnout attests to the importance and relevance of rabies and to the recognition of this scientific endeavor.
As a result of the pandemic, this year´s conference will ONCE AGAIN be held on-line. The event schedule will consider the different time zones, to allow participants from many countries to take part in the conference.
This year´s event will address various important issues normally addressed in past RITA events and will also include discussions on rabies in various countries within the One Health context.
We intend to hold discussions on important issues that will allow reflections for future decisions and research.