September 28th is World Rabies Day!

FROM THE AVMA AND GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR RABIES CONTROL (Background Rabies and World Rabies Day)

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus that can infect both humans and animals. The virus is spread mainly through bites and sometimes scratches. Rabies is is found in the SALIVA of infected animals.

How do I know if I have Rabies?

Most of the time you don’t know until it is too late!

The first symptoms of rabies are similar to those of the flu. As the disease progresses, the person can experience delirium, abnormal behavior and hallucinations, as well as the famed hydrophobia and foaming at the mouth, related to the paralysis of swallowing muscles.

The World Health Organization considers rabies one of 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases.
It kills approximately 70,000 people and 32,500 cattle every year.

What if I am bitten by a possible rabid animal?

Once symptoms are evident rabies is all but 100% fatal with only a handful of recorded
survivals in its 4000 year history.

IF after exposure to a rabid animal and you immediately (before symptoms start) get preventative rabies vaccines, the disease can be prevented.

McKay Dee Hospital, in Ogden, is our closest hospital that has these vaccines

Where is Rabies found?

Rabies is found on every continent on Earth, except Antarctica.

In the middle of the 20th Century, measures were adopted to control the disease and it is now well controlled in most developed countries – although it is still present in wildlife. It has been known to
decimate numbers of endangered species, for example the Ethiopian Wolf.

Hawaii is the only state, of the 50 United States, that is rabies free.

Prevention is the key!

Here’s how to reduce the risk of exposure to rabies from wildlife.

1. Don’t feed or water your pets outside. Even empty bowls will attract wild and stray animals.

2. Keep your garbage securely covered. Open garbage will attract wild or stray animals.

3. Wild animals should not be kept as pets.

4. Enjoy all wild animals from a distance and teach children never to handle unfamiliar
animals – even if they appear friendly.
5. If you see a wild or stray animal acting strangely, report it to veterinary or animal
control officials.
6. Bat-proof your home in the fall and winter, if you live in a country where bat rabies
is an issue.

In the state of Utah bats, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and foxes are the most likely carriers.

What if my pet bites another animal?

After contacting animal control…

  • A dog or cat that bites a person/animal needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately.
  • Your pet may require monitoring at home or at a veterinary clinic for 10 days.
  • Report any illness or unusual behavior by your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

What if my pet is bit by another animal?

  • Consult your veterinarian immediately and have your veterinarian examine your pet and assess your pet’s vaccination needs.
  • Contact local animal control if the bite was from a stray or wild animal.
  • Monitor your pet at home or in a veterinary clinic for a specified time period by state law. A pet needs not be watched for at least 14 days. It is possible that signs may not occur for 1-2 months after exposure.

What if my pet bites someone?

Make sure that the person contacts there personal physician, then…

  • A dog or cat that bites a person needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately. Ask if you pet is current on his/her rabies vaccine.
  • Your pet may require monitoring at home or at a veterinary clinic for 10 days.
  •  Report any illness or unusual behavior by your pet to your veterinarian immediately.
  • If an unvaccinated animal bites your pet, you need to monitor them at home or in a veterinary clinic for at least 45 days, (depending on state/local law ordinances).

Bats and Rabies
Bats may transmit rabies.

  • Bats have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily seen.

Although many people know if they have been bitten by a bat, there are certain circumstances when a person might not be aware or unable to tell you about it.

These circumstances include:

o If a sleeping person awakes to find a bat in the room
o If you find a bat in a room with an unattended child
o If you see a bat near a person with disabilities
o If you see a bat near a person who is intoxicated

I may have been exposed to Rabies, NOW WHAT!?

Following exposure to rabies, time is of the essence. 
1. The wound needs to be washed thoroughly with soap and running water forat 
least 15 minutes.
2. The victim then needs to seek urgent medical care and exposure assessment. McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden is the closest hospital for rabies prevention treatments.

Prompt and appropriate treatment after being bitten and before the disease develops
can stop rabies infection and prevent the disease.

However, once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is fatal in 99.9% of the cases,
and typically only palliative measures can be taken.

The World Rabies Day logo is known worldwide, and is available online
(http://rabiesalliance.org/worl…) in over 40 languages for anyone to
download and use with their events.

There are also many awareness resources
(http://rabiesalliance.org/reso…) available online for different audiences and
languages, which people can use at their events and for other activities around rabies.

For Fun tips and and games for Kids visithttp://www.cdc.gov/rabiesandki…

Most of this information came form http://rabiesalliance.org/worl…

More information about Rabies is available, these is just a few highlights. If you have questions, please call us.

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