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World Rabies Day

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Discussing The Deadly Virus Known As Rabies

September 28th is globally known as World Rabies Day. Not in celebration or admiration, but in reverence to a very dangerous and potentially deadly virus known as rabies. This article will discuss everything you need to know about rabies including what rabies is, where rabies comes from, how people can get sick from it and potentially die, and preventative treatment. The purpose of this article isn’t to scare you, but rather keep you well informed about the potential dangers of this very serious virus. Knowledge is power and we want you to be prepared and aware of the dangers of rabies. 

What Is Rabies

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) rabies is defined as a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. This virus attacks the central nervous system of mammals ultimately causing disease in the brain and resulting in death. While there is no known cure for rabies, it is treatable through vaccination after being exposed to rabies. However, the treatment must take place before symptoms occur, otherwise it will usually be too late for a full recovery. In order to reduce the risk of your dog or cat contracting rabies, make sure they receive their rabies shot every one to three years. 

Where Does Rabies Come From?

The majority of rabies cases reported to the C.D.C. every year occurs in wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Although any mammal can get rabies, these are some of the most common animals to spread rabies. Rabies is spread through the saliva of an infected animal often by way of an animal bite. If you or your pet is bitten by any of the aforementioned animals, seek medical help as soon as possible. The wound needs to be properly cleaned/treated and you or your pet will need to receive a rabies vaccine before the virus attacks and spreads through the central nervous system. The longer you wait, the worse it may get. If you’re interested in learning about other outdoor dangers to your pets, check out our previous article Flea And Tick Prevention. The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you will be.   

Side Effects Of Rabies

The first symptoms of rabies are very similar to that of the flu. These symptoms include fever, nausea, headache, vomiting, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty swallowing, insomnia, and hallucinations. Typically speaking, once a person begins showing these symptoms of rabies, it is already too late as the virus has successfully infiltrated the central nervous system. Most people do not survive from rabies once they begin showing symptoms. As previously mentioned, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention when it comes to animal bites. Rabies is treatable, but still a very serious illness to deal with. 

Preventative Treatment  

The best way to avoid your pet from getting rabies is through preventative measures. Keep your pets up to date on their rabies vaccinations as they need these shots every one to three years. Schedule out these appointments with your veterinarian at the end of every annual visit so you don’t forget to later on. Keep your pets inside and always supervise them when taking them outside. Exposing your pets to wild animals is always a risk because wild animals may carry the rabies virus and the virus itself can cause them to act erratic and vicious. No matter how cute a wild animal may look, never approach them or let your pets approach them. You don’t know what that animal may be carrying (rabies, fleas, etc.). If you see stray animals in your neighborhood, report them to the local authorities (animal control). Rabies is a very serious virus, but there are many ways to prevent it. Don’t take the risk of you or your pets contracting rabies. Keep your pets safe by taking preventative measures and keeping them away from wild animals. 

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