Rabies is a 100% Fatal Disease and nearly 70,482 Human Cases have been recorded in India. This is mainly due to the huge 50 million population of Stray dogs in our country. These dogs are more aggressive as they have to fight for their food and other living conditions. In this process, they roam in a wider area and easily spread Rabies by bitting cattle & pets. Once the domestic cattle & pets are infected with rabies, the Rhabdo viridae is constantly shed through the saliva. This is the major source of infection to humans handling animals, because this virus can enter through any cuts or abbrassions in the skin. Therefore there is a danger of Veterinarians, Farmers and all people handling animals, including their families being infected with rabies. The biggest problem with Rabies is that, the symptoms of the disease are not noticed immediately.
Rabies is a disease caused by a virus found in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted to pets and humans by bites, or possibly by contamination of an open cut. Treatment of an infected person as critical. Untreated, rabies causes a painful death.
Most animals can be infected by the virus and can transmit the disease to man. Infected bats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, dogs or cats provide the greatest risk to humans. Rabies may also spread through exposure to infected domestic farm animals, groundhogs , weasels and other wild carnivores. Squirrels, rodents and rabbits are seldom infected.
- Have your pets vaccinated against rabies. Any pets which come in contact with wild animals are at risk. During recent years, confirmed cases of rabies in cats have exceeded the reported cases in dogs in some parts of the United States making vaccination and booster shots critical to your health and that of your pets.
- If your cat or dog has been bitten or attacked by a wild animal or has bites or scratches of unknown origin, call your Veterinarian for immediate help.
- If your cat or dog has bitten a person, make sure that the person is immediately taken to a physicin and the necessary antirabies shots are given to him.
- If your cat or dog is sick, seek the advice of your veterinarian.
- Protect your pets from stray or wild animals. Keep your pets from running loose.
- Do not feed or handle wild animals especially those that appear aggressive or sick. Never keep a wild animal as a pet.
Rabies - What To Do If Bitten
- If you are bitten....
....by a wild animals: don’t neglect it as a simple scratch or a wound. Immediately approach a physician and get the necessary treatment.
....By a cat or dog: obtain information about the pet animal. Include a description of the animal and licensing number or identification, owner's name, address and telephone number and the rabies vaccination status whenever available.
- Immediately cleanse the wound thoroughly with soapy water.
- Never dress the wound with antiseptics and close the wound with a bandage.
- Get medical attention. Go to your family doctor or nearest emergency room. DO NOT DELAY CALLING. YOU MAY NEED TREATMENT.
Discourage wildlife. Minimize your chance of exposing humans and pets to rabies. There is a human rabies vaccine available for preexposure and a globulin treatment with vaccination for postexposure prophylaxis. However, prevention is of major importance. Start by reducing human and pet contact with wild animals.
If wild animals visit your property frequently, they are probably looking for food and shelter.
- Check your house and property. Eliminate sites that can be used by animals for sleeping or raising young.
- Plug all holes in roofs, eaves, or sides of buildings
- Block any means of entry to foundations, porches and steps.
- Trim tree limbs that extend to or over your roof.
- Provide bright exterior lighting to discourage nocturnal animals.
- Encourage your neighbors to do the same, so the whole neighborhood is unfriendly to wildlife.
Take Away the Place Mat
- Examine your buildings and yard. Remove all souces of FOOD.
- Use garbage cans with animal-proof lids.
- Keep garbage cans in the garage or shed.
- Don't feed pets outside.
- If you must feed pets outside, remove any uneaten food at once.
- Remember gardens attract wildlife such as raccoons. Consider ways to make your garden less appealing such as low voltage electric fence.
Too Late -- They're Here!
What to do if the wild animals (racoons, bats, cats etc…) are already in residence?
- If they're already raising young, it's best to wait for the young to leave the den.
- When you're sure that there are no young or that the young ones are gone, watch the entrance at dusk and block it up after the animals leave for the night.
- If you can't watch the hole, mount a flap of wood or heavy gauge wire on a hinge over the hole so that the animal can push it out to leave, but can't push it back in to re-enter. (Just like a rat trap)
- Arrange a bright light so it shines into the den during the day, or place a loud playing radio there all day to discourage an animal from sleeping.
- If the animal persists in remaining, call your local animal control officer at the Muncipality/Corporation.
- Report any stray domestic or wild animals behaving strangely to your local animal control officer.