According to the CDC:
- Rabies is a deadly virus found in the saliva and nervous system of an infected animals spread from animal to animal or animal to person.
- Rabies is still present in many parts of the United States and is often found in wildlife.
- Roughly a quarter of reported rabies cases in the United States are a result from dog bites received during international travel.
- The best way to protect you, your family, and your pets is to keep dogs and cats up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.
This year’s World Rabies Day theme is: “One Health, Zero Deaths”
September 28, 2022 will mark the 16th World Rabies Day. This year’s theme ‘Rabies: One Health, Zero Deaths’ will highlight the connection of the environment with both people and animals.
Residents should take the following precautions to protect themselves, their family members, and their animals from rabies:
- If bit, wash thoroughly with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention.
- Keep doors closed and housing vents well protected against animal entry.
- Do not leave pet food or table scraps outside where they will attract wild or stray animals.
- Keep vaccinations current for all dogs, cats, and ferrets. Do not let your animals play with wildlife. Consult your veterinarian about vaccinations for horses and other livestock.
- Call animal control to remove any stray or to report any sick animals in your neighborhood.
Rabid Animal Symptoms:
- Foaming at the mouth and erratic behavior are two of the most widely known rabies symptoms (Furious Rabies); however, sick animals can display unusually passive behaviors as well (Dumb Rabies).
- “Depression-like” behavior and retreat to isolated places.
- Overly friendly to humans, especially wild animals.
- Signs of paralysis such as a drooping head, paralyzed hind limbs, abnormal facial expressions, and/or a sagging jaw.
- Extreme excitement and aggression such as attacking stationary objects or other animals and/or gnawing and biting their own limbs.
It is critical that stakeholders, and people at community, local, national, and global levels continue to strengthen rabies control programs to promote One Health, Zero Deaths.
By collaborating and joining forces, engaging communities and committing to sustain dog vaccination, rabies can be eliminated.