Rabies is a viral disease that causes swelling in the brain of warm blooded mammals. It is most frequently transmitted by a bite, and can cross between species; such as from dog to human. It is one of the most dreaded diseases in the world. It causes the most human deaths of all zoonotic diseases (diseases which can be spread between animals and humans). This year marks the twelfth year of bringing the global community together to fight against Rabies. The theme for this year is “Rabies: Share the message, Save a life”.
This campaign had since emphasized on three important points: Educate people on what Rabies is (education); Create awareness on how to prevent/reject rabies (Eliminate); and end Rabies by 2030 (Eradicate).
Tips to reduce the risks of contracting rabies:
Vaccinate your pets against rabies
Do not handle wild or stray animals to avoid being bittenContact your vet doctor when your dog starts acting strangely.
Always seek medical attention if you’ve been bitten by a dog.
If a strange or wild animal bites your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately to determine if your pet needs medical intervention. The best way to avoid rabies is to vaccinate your pet.
Key facts from WHO
Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories.
Dogs are the main source of human rabies’ deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans in countries where dogs have the disease.
Rabies elimination is feasible through vaccination of dogs and prevention of dog bites.40% of people bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age.
Immediate, thorough wound washing with soap and water after contact with a suspect rabid animal is crucial and can save lives.
WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) have established a global “United Against Rabies” collaboration to provide a common strategy to achieve “Zero human rabies deaths by 2030”.