WEEKLY WELLNESS ARTICLES

 

 

Rabies: Share the message. Save a life.

 

The theme for World Rabies Day 2018 celebrated on September 28th is "Rabies: Share the message. Save a life.”This highlights the importance of education and awareness to prevent rabies. The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges that rabies is present on all continents, except Antarctica, with over 95% of human deaths occurring in the Asian and African regions. 40% of people bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age.

 

Rabies is an infectious viral disease that is almost always fatal following the onset of clinical symptoms.It is spread to people through bites or scratches, usually via saliva. Rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease.Vaccinating dogs and cats is the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people. In the Americas, bats are now the major source of human rabies deaths as dog to human transmission has been greatly reduced due to increased vaccinations rates and the prevention of animal bites.

 Rabies prevention includes several measures:

 ·Visit your veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up to-date for all cats, ferrets, and dogs.

·Maintain control of your pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision.

·Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or vaccinated regularly.

·Call animal control to remove all stray dogs from your neighborhood since these animals may be unvaccinated or ill.

 The rabies virus is transmitted through saliva or brain/nervous system tissue. You can only get rabies by coming in contact with these specific bodily excretions and tissues. It’s important to remember that rabies is a medical urgency but not an emergency.Decisions should not be delayed.Wash any wounds immediately. The involves an immediate and thorough flushing and washing for a minimum of 15 minutes with soap and water, detergent, povidone iodine or other substances that kill the rabies virus.

 The first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flu including weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache. These symptoms may last for days. There also may be discomfort or a prickling or itching sensation at the site of the bite, progressing within days to symptoms of cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, and agitation. As the disease progresses, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and insomnia.

 The acute period of disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days. Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is usually supportive. Once a person begins to exhibit signs of the disease, survival is rare.

See your doctor for attention for any trauma due to an animal attack before considering the need for rabies vaccination. Your doctor will decide if you need a rabies vaccination. Decisions to start vaccination, known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), will be based on your type of exposure and the animal you were exposed to, as well as laboratory and surveillance information for the geographic area where the exposure occurred.

The Clark Co. Veterinary Clinic and the Clark Co. Health Department have once again joined forces in the effort to prevent rabies. A rabies clinic is scheduled for September 25that the Clark Co. Veterinary Clinic located at 116 Hud Rd. from 6:00 P.M – 8:00P.M. The vaccinations are available at a cost of $5.00. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Clark Co. Health Department at 859-385-4453.


Submitted by: Carlene Whitt, Environmentalist