World Rabies Day is celebrated annually on 28th September to raise awareness about rabies, the deadliest disease affecting pets and humans.
In fact, the day also marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death, the French chemist and microbiologist who developed the first rabies vaccine.
Therefore, you should not let this day go in vain!
Celebrate World Rabies Day to eliminate rabies by keeping up with your dog’s rabies vaccines, educating yourself on dog or cat bite prevention, raising funds, raising awareness, and keeping yourself away from wildlife and unfamiliar animals.
You can prevent rabies by educating people about the disease, how it spreads, and what they can do to prevent it.
Read on to find out what activities you can do on World Rabies Day.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease that can affect both animals and humans. The virus is spread through direct contact with an infected animal’s saliva or brain tissue.
The animal infected with rabies usually dies within seven days of becoming sick.
Usually, the disease is transmitted to humans by being bitten by a rabies-infected animal. But exposure may also occur through contamination of an infected animal's broken skin of mucous membranes with saliva.
The incubation period generally ranges from 2 to 3 months but may vary from 1 week to 1 year in humans, where it gradually moves along the nerves into your central nervous system, reaching your brain.
Rabies often causes fever with pain, burning sensation at the wound site, and sudden behavioral changes, followed by progressive paralysis, coma, and death within a few days.
However, it is treatable if a person who has had exposure to rabies seeks immediate and appropriate medical care.
While many cases occur in wild animals, dogs are now the most common domestic animal infected with rabies around the world, with more than 99% of human cases coming from dog bites.
Lack of knowledge about the disease, vaccination, and proper preventive measures are to be blamed.
Activities To Do On World Rabies Day
According to MSD Animal Health, nearly 59,000 people die from rabies annually, with 40% of deaths accounting for children.
Therefore, informing people about the disease will help prevent the death of innocents.
Let’s check some activities you can do on World Rabies Day to eliminate rabies.
1. Stay Updated With Rabies Vaccines
Make sure your dog’s rabies vaccination is up to date. Generally, puppies should receive their first rabies vaccine between 12 to 16 weeks of age.
The second rabies vaccine is given one year after the first vaccine and then every three years thereafter, depending on the state law.
Consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure when your dog last had its rabies vaccine.
Your veterinarian will know your state’s laws and keep your pet on the appropriate vaccination schedule.
Because pets do not usually display signs of early disease, annual or biannual checks are essential for keeping your pet in good health, regardless of how frequently immunizations are given.
It will even prevent them from acquiring the disease from wildlife and protects you and your family from rabies transmission.
2. Raise Fund for Preventive Care
There are many creative methods to raise funds for world rabies day.
Set up an event in your community to raise funds to assist with vaccination and preventive programs. You can even organize an event virtually.
Create a GoFundMe page so anyone can donate without having to attend in person. Use all your different social media accounts to tell everyone about it.
Ask friends and families to raise money through recycling, baking food and selling it, organizing the contest, and returning bottles and cans.
You can donate those raised money to a rabies-focused organization like Global Alliance for Rabies Control and Final Rabies Generation, which operates locally or globally to eliminate rabies.
3. Educate Yourself on Bite Prevention
Getting prompt and appropriate medical care will protect humans from contracting rabies if they come into contact with a dog.
If you get bitten or scratched by a dog or cat, follow the following preventive methods.
- Consult with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
- Get the dog’s owner's contact information and find out if the dog is up to date on its rabies vaccines.
- Clean the wound thoroughly.
- Get PEP if necessary to protect you from developing rabies; therefore, you cannot expose other people to rabies.
Moreover, if another dog bites your dog, similar actions are needed. A veterinarian should examine all bite-related injuries since the risk of infection is high.
They will provide the best possible treatment for your pet.
Check the infographic for more information:
4. Keep Yourself Away From Wildlife and Unfamiliar Animals
Rabies is often seen in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats.
Avoiding contact with wild animals is the best way to protect your pet and your family.
- Do not get in close contact with them, even if they seem friendly.
- Also, avoid dogs and cats unfamiliar to you and your family since they could come into contact with wild animals and spread rabies.
- Do not keep wild animals as pets.
- Moreover, if you see any sick or dead animal, never touch or pick it up, as the rabies virus can still exist in the saliva or nervous tissue.
- Instead, report it to animal control or your local health department.
5. Raise Awareness about World Rabies Day
Conduct a program or participate in the local program to increase awareness of rabies prevention in at-risk communities.
Following are some ideas to raise awareness about World Rabies Day.
- Inform your friends and neighbor about World Rabies Day.
- Share information about rabies and how to prevent it on your social media.
- Organize World Rabies Day information stands in a local store, at a community event, or center.
- Hand out leaflets to the people on the street, at transportation, and at airports.
- Participate in public events or go to schools and universities to give a short speech about rabies and how we can control it.
- Get yourself and people involved in the events of organizations like the Global Alliance for Rabies Control to assist them with vaccination programs.
Raising awareness about rabies is needed everywhere to eliminate it globally.
Every year a unique theme is selected for World Rabies Day, where One Health, Zero Deaths is the theme for World Rabies Day 2022.
This theme helps remind us that rabies elimination is possible, and we all stand together against this dreadful disease.
So, let’s do our part and support to help eliminate this dreadful disease.
To learn more about World Rabies Day and educate yourself on this deadly virus, get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines.