A global health observance started in 2007 to raise awareness about the world’s deadliest infectious disease and bring together partners to enhance prevention and control efforts worldwide. World Rabies Day is celebrated each year on September 28 as a tribute to Louis Pasteur the inventor of the first effective rabies vaccine in the world.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease, which is spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. It is transmitted through animal bites usually from stray dogs or dogs who have not been vaccinated. The symptoms of the disease include headache, extreme fever, excess salivation paralysis, mental disorder, and confusion, eventually leading to death in some cases.
Rabies is a severe viral infection caused by the RABV virus belonging to the Rhabdovirus family. It is transmitted through an infected animal’s saliva when it bites or scratches another individual or animal. Because this disease affects the brain and nervous system of the infected person, it must be prevented quickly. Rabies symptoms are non-specific in the early stages but eventually affect the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems.
The animals most likely to infect people with the rabies virus include:
Pets and farm animals:
Significance of World Rabies Day
On the day, a network of international government agencies, NGOs, and vaccine manufacturers use World Rabies Day as a tool to organize events, conferences, and campaigns led by experts to assist in the eradication of the disease. The government also announces plans and policies to progress toward the goal. In the long-term goal, the Global Strategic Plan for the eradication of this dog-mediated is aimed to be Zero deaths by 2030.
Hence, people at a higher risk of contracting rabies must be given the rabies vaccine to protect them from the illness. It is also critical to vaccinate your pets against rabies and seek medical attention quickly if an animal bites you.
World Rabies Day is a reminder that rabies is a dreadful disease and prevention, along with awareness, can go a long way to control it completely. Spread rabies awareness, put an end to rabies, and save a life!