Rabies is a viral disease that causes encephalitis in humans and other mammals whose main symptoms include fever and tingling at the site of exposure, nausea, vomiting, violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness.
The bad story of this virus is that once symptoms appear, the result is virtually always death, regardless of treatment.
On average, it takes one to three months for rabies symptoms to develop to an individual infected with rabies virus, but it can vary from less than one week to more than one year.
Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses, including the rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus.
Human gets infection from infected animal bites or scratches, saliva contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose. From there, the virus travels along the peripheral nerves to reach the central nervous system for secondary replication.
Dogs are the most common animal involved in the transmission of rabies to human globally through bites.
Significance of Rabies worldwide
Rabies is present in more than 150 countries and on all continents except Antarctica. More than 3 billion people live in regions of the world where rabies occurs.
About 99% of rabies infected or sick individuals in the world are as result of rabid dog bites
Rabies kills about 59,000 people every year worldwide
It is estimated that about 21,476 human deaths occur in Africa every year
In Tanzania, about 1,500 human deaths are estimated to occur in Tanzania every year
It is reported that Rabies kills one person after every 15 minutes
Transmission of Rabies to human is 100% preventable by keeping dogs and cats up to date on their rabies vaccinations.
World Rabies Day 28th September
September 28 every year is World Rabies Day, a global health observance started in 2007 to raise awareness about the world’s deadliest infectious disease (Rabies).
World Rabies Day is commemorated every year on September 28 – the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur with the collaboration of his colleagues, developed the first efficacious rabies vaccine.
The first commemoration of World Rabies Day started in 2007, this 28 September 2022 marks the 16th World Rabies Day.
The main aim of World Rabies Day is to raise awareness about the impact of rabies on humans and animals, provide information and advice on how to prevent the disease in at-risk communities, and support advocacy for increased efforts in rabies control
2022 World Rabies Day theme
This year’s World Rabies Day theme is: “One Health, Zero Death”.
Why this theme? Dog-mediated human rabies elimination is possible, we only need to be united and stand as one thing (One Health). We need experts and stakeholders from different disciplines such as human, animal, wildlife and environmental health to fight against this dreadful disease.
Therefore, this year’s theme will focus on One Health, coupled with the reminder of the “Zero deaths by 2030” and that the elimination of dog-mediated human rabies elimination is possible.
By collaborating and joining forces, engaging communities and committing to sustain dog vaccination, rabies can be eliminated.
What is being done in Tanzania against Rabies
Provision of education about rabies through different public media such as Television, Radio and Magazines
Rapid provision of prophylaxis to rabid dog bite cases
Raising awareness and responsibility to dog and cat owners on vaccinating their dogs and cats every year
To emphasize on standard ways of keeping dog and cats to prevent free roaming
Performing massive dog and cat vaccination campaigns free of charge
Free dog and cat vaccinations during the World Rabies Day
Individuals who are bitten by a dog or cat are advised to wash the area immediately with soap and a running water for 15 minutes living the wound open and then should go to the hospital as soon as possible.
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