World Rabies Day: 28 September
|Wednesday the 28th of September marks the 10th annual World Rabies Day. The mission of World Rabies Day is to raise awareness about the impact of human and animal rabies, how easy it is to prevent it, and how to eliminate the main sources.
Rabies is a disease that we all need to be aware of. It is present in KwaZulu Natal, and it kills both animals and humans.
In 2016 there have been 6 confirmed rabid dogs in the Ilembe district, and 71 confirmed rabies positive animals in KZN. 2 human deaths have been reported in our country this year, one in KZN and one in the Free State.
The most important source of rabies in humans is from uncontrolled rabies in dogs, and children are often at greatest risk.
The rabies virus is transmitted in the saliva through bites, licking of open wounds or licking of mucous membranes, such as the mouth.
It is important to remember that not all rabid animals behave in an aggressive manner.
Members of the public should avoid touching or caressing strange, injured or sick animals. If you are encounter an animal that you are concerned about, contact the local SPCA.
If there is suspected exposure to a rabid animal, a course of post-exposure immunisation injections should be administered to prevent development of the disease. Please be aware that there is no cure for rabies once the symptoms are present, and it inevitably leads to death.
If you think that you may have been exposed to an animal of unknown vaccination status, wash any bite wounds thoroughly with soap and water for 15 minutes, and consult a doctor immediately.
Rabies prevention starts with the animal owner. It is critical that all pet cats and dogs are regularly vaccinated against rabies. An initial course of two vaccinations is required, followed by an regular booster vaccinations. Failure to vaccinate domestic pets is illegal and a public health risk.
Protect yourself, your pet and your community by ensuring rabies vaccinations are up to date.
For more information visit rabiesalliance.org