It may surprise some people to know that rabies is still "out there" and still very much a threat to animals and humans around the world. Since 2007, September 28th has been designated World Rabies Day to increase awareness and address prevention and control of this fatal disease.
Rabies Still A Threat
People and animals are infected by the rabies virus and die from rabies each year.
From the CDC Rabies Info site:
"Each year around the world, rabies results in more than 55,000 deaths - approximately one death every 10 minutes. Most deaths are reported from Africa and Asia with almost 50% of the victims being children under the age of 15."
How Rabies is Spread
Most often, the rabies virus is spread via bite wounds. The virus lives in the saliva of infected animals, and is passed into the tissues of the victim after getting bitten. The virus can also be spread by getting the virus-laden saliva in an open wound, splashed in an eye, or other mucous membrane, such as the mouth. Rabies may be spread between animals and humans, wildlife and pets.
What You Can Do
The first step is to vaccinate your pets. Rabies is a preventable disease, but 100% fatal in unvaccinated animals. Visit the World Rabies Day site for more ways to be involved in promoting rabies awareness and eradication.
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Image: World Rabies Day Logo