World Rabies Day was first introduced on September 28, 2007. This Rabies Day was first proposed by an organization, named the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, in order to spread awareness and bring everyone together to prevent rabies.
Rabies is an extremely deadly virus. One can get infected with this virus from coming in direct contact with the saliva of an infected animal. It is generally spread through an animal bite. In the United States, animals that are most likely to infect you with this virus are foxes, coyotes, skunks, bats, and raccoons. However, if you are from a developing country, then you need to be careful about getting bitten by stray dogs, as various research has shown to find rabies in stray dogs as well.
- Once clinical symptoms appear, rabies is virtually 100% fatal.
- In up to 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans.
Once someone starts to show the symptoms and signs of the disease, they should seek professional help as soon as possible as it always ends up causing death. This is why one needs to have a rabies vaccination to prevent and cure rabies. This disease starts with flu-like symptoms, affects your central nervous system and ends up causing death.
What Should You Do If an Infected Animal Bites You?
If you ever get bitten or even scratched by an infected animal, here’s what you should do:
- As quickly as possible, wash the wound with water and soap. If possible, then apply a ten percent povidone-iodine solution to the wound.
- Contact your health specialist or an expert in a public health department immediately after getting bitten. Inform them about the incident and provide them with every detail of the infected animal like if it was a pet or a wild animal, the way the animal acted, etc.
- Ask the health specialist how to wash the wounded area and if you need to take a rabies vaccine or not.
- If you have been bitten by a wild animal, then contact the animal control department.
What are the Symptoms of Rabies?
The symptoms that you need to be aware of are weakness, discomfort, flu, headache, etc. At first, there will be signs like itching or prickling in the wounded area. These signs might last for many days.
Then its effect can cause anxiety, cerebral dysfunction, confusion as well as agitation. As the disease starts to progress in your body, you might experience abnormal behavior, delirium, insomnia, hydrophobia, and hallucinations. This particular phrase lasts up to two to ten days.
Once these symptoms of rabies appear, then only doctors can handle it. Treatments and management of rabies are limited. Rabies in humans often leads to death. Only a few can survive this disease. Thus, one needs to be extremely careful of these signs.
How to Prevent Yourself from Getting Infected?
There are various ways of rabies prevention that you can consider to prevent the disease from spreading:
1. Spread Awareness
You can engage with communities and spread awareness of this disease as well as vaccinate stray dogs to prevent this disease from spreading.
This cooperative response between human and animal health systems can have a good impact on the livelihood of society. It can also help to increase rabies surveillance along with other viruses when it comes to human health.
2. Vaccinate Your Pet Dog Against This Disease
Rabies in dogs can be extremely dangerous as they may infect everyone in the family. The most important thing you could do to protect yourself and your pets from getting infected with this virus is to vaccinate them from time to time.
Based on the laws of your state and your pet dog’s health, vaccinations might be effective for two to four years. The rabies vaccine makes sure that your pet dog is safe if it gets infected with this disease.
You need to bring your dog for a check-up immediately if you notice any symptoms of this disease even if you are unsure about the incident. The veterinarian would give your dog a vaccination and monitor your dog for any symptoms of the infection. Do not try to catch the infected animal and provide all the details about the incident.
If your dog has already been vaccinated, then you can keep your dog at home. However, if your dog has not been vaccinated, then you need to keep your dog in the animal control facility until your dog gets better.
3. Avoid Coming in Direct Contact with the Infected Animal
Even if the infected animal is dead, try to prevent yourself from coming in contact with it. Keep your pets and kids away from dead or injured animals. You must not touch them until you are fully prepared.
You can use a towel or wear gloves to touch them. Most veterinarians are likely to accept injured wild animals. They can also test it to see if it is infected or not. Only a few veterinarians do not accept wild animals. Therefore, it would not be a problem for you to find a good veterinarian.
4. Supervise Your Pet Outdoors as Well
If your pets or dogs chase other animals like rabbits or squirrels, there is a chance of getting scratched or bitten. Rabid animals generally behave aggressively and get easily agitated. So, they can harm your pets or dogs. Keep your eyes on your pet so they don’t come in contact with a wild animal.
Even if a wild animal is not showing any symptoms or signs of this disease, it doesn’t mean that the animal isn’t infected. This is extremely dangerous because you might think a small scratch would not do much but it can put your pet’s life at risk.
Rabies infection can be extremely dangerous as there is no proper treatment for this and only a few can survive this. One must keep their eyes open and keep themselves from coming in contact with such diseases.