Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rabies is Deadlier than HIV/AIDS

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One person dies from rabies every 10 minutes, on average, with the disease claiming 55,000 lives every year.
World Rabies Day, today, highlights the fact that rabies can be prevented.
However, experts say that the high cost of safe and effective vaccines – up to US$ 50 in Asia, where the average daily income is US$ 1-2 per person – and the fact that the disease is virtually invisible, mean those who should be able to prevent rabies often don't see its dangers.
Nicki Chadwick reports
Duration: 2’17″


The following is a news release from Dr. Olufemi Oboye (DVM, Ibadan), CEO, K-9ine World Ltd.

Saturday, September 28 is the United Nation’s world rabies day. This date has been set aside because it marks the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur, a scientist who with the collaboration of his colleagues developed the first efficacious rabies vaccine.

During the world rabies day, the United Nations and other international human and veterinary health organizations raise awareness on how to prevent and eliminate the main global sources of a disease that kills more than 55,000 people worldwide every year.  

Rabies is not a foreign challenge alone. In Nigeria, more than 10,000 people are still at risk of contracting this disease that is deadlier than HIV/AIDS. During the world rabies day, local human and veterinary organizations such as the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), K-9ine World Limited, Lagos Dog breeders club, etc., come up with several awareness campaigns and free anti-rabies vaccination for pets. 

Rabies is a deadly zoonotic disease (a disease that can be transmitted from animals to man, and vice versa.) that is transmitted when the virus in the saliva or brain tissue of an infected animal or person, enters into the body through a bite, scratch or open wound. Signs of rabies in an infected animal include- change in normal tone of bark, difficulty in swallowing, excessive or frothy salivation, unusual aggression to people and stationary objects, and muscle in coordination.  

In an infected person, signs of rabies include- fever, cough, sore throat, restlessness, hallucinations and seizures. The final stage is coma and death. 

To prevent rabies, avoid contact with unfamiliar animals, have your pets vaccinated, keep your cats indoors, never handle the brain tissue of a dead animal, and veterinary doctors and animal health workers should collect a preventive rabies vaccination. 

If you have been bitten by or exposed to an animal without a history of vaccination, or with signs of rabies, immediately, wash the affected area with soap, rinse with plenty water, then seek immediate medical attention. The doctor will administer post exposure rabies vaccines that will help the body’s immune system to destroy the virus at the early stages.

Exposure to a rabid animal does not always result in death if treatment is obtained promptly following exposure. However is symptoms appear before treatment, the disease progresses rapidly and the infection will probably lead to death

Rabies kills! Please ensure that you vaccinate your pets today.

Have a blessed weekend.

Dr. Olufemi Oboye (DVM, Ibadan)
CEO, K-9ine World Ltd.,
And, Columnist in Friday Punch Newspapers (Health- wise page)

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