World Rabies Day is an international campaign aimed at raising awareness of the impact of rabies on humans and animals, providing information and advice on how to prevent the disease, and how individuals and organizations can help eliminate the major global sources of disease outbreak.
The Initiator of Rabies Day is the World Alliance for the Control of Rabies, a non-profit organization headquartered in the United States and the United Kingdom.
World Rabies Day is held every year on September 28, the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur, the man who developed the first effective rabies vaccine.
Some facts about rabies:
Rabies is also called hydrophobia after one of its symptoms - extreme fear of water. Hydrophobia occurs in humans infected with rabies, not in animals.
Rabies is considered the most deadly disease in the world, as most people infected with it do not survive.
Rabies infects not only dogs and animals in the canine family, but also other mammals, including humans.
The cause of rabies is a virus that is most often transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. The virus passes through the saliva and can also pass through licking.
Rabies is a deadly viral disease that attacks the nervous system of mammals.
The rabies virus passes through the body through nerve fibers to the brain. As long as the virus does not reach the brain, the animal it is in is called a carrier.
The animals that may be infected with the rabies virus are mainly jackals, wolves, foxes, rats, raccoons and bats and any living creature with warm blood.
Infected animals can act as vectors that transmit the virus, and also infect humans that come in contact with them.
The time that elapses from the onset of the disease to its onset ranges from a few weeks to a year, and is affected by many factors such as: the size of the bite, the number of bites, proximity to the spine and proximity to the head.
The symptoms of rabies: Behavioral change is the first sign. For example, a friendly dog will become aggressive. As the disease progresses, the virus passes through the facial nerves and reaches the salivary glands. At this point the patient begins to become contagious through the saliva. The virus then descends to the swallowing muscles, then there is impaired swallowing ability, and increased salivation. Another symptom is photophobia, hypersensitivity to light and fear (while) or aversion to sunlight and well-lit places. The next stage is development throughout the body, to the point of paralysis of the respiratory muscles and death.
After the first signs appear, the chances of recovering from rabies are nil. If there is a suspicion that a person has contracted rabies, he should be vaccinated immediately to save him.
Only six people are known to have survived rabies after it broke out. Five of them were vaccinated against rabies before the disease broke out and yet the symptoms appeared in them. Only one girl survived rabies without any vaccine. In 2004, Jeanna Giese, a 16-year-old girl from Wisconsin, USA, was bitten on the finger by a rat. She did not seek treatment and after 37 days she developed symptoms of the disease. Her immune system began to develop antibodies on her own that would fight the virus.She survived the disease but her motor ability was severely impaired.After undergoing rehabilitative treatments she was able to walk and drive.
Every year between 40,000 and 70,000 people die from rabies worldwide. About 6 million people worldwide receive the vaccine each year for fear of being infected.
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