A Case of Rabies has recently been confirmed in the Kokstad Area.

All members of the community are advised to exercise caution when dealing with animals.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) list the following:

Key facts

 

  • Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories.
  • Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans.
  • Rabies elimination is feasible by vaccinating dogs.
  • Infection causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, mostly in Asia and Africa.
  • 40% of people who are bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age.
  • Immediate wound cleansing with soap and water after contact with a suspect rabid animal can be life-saving.
  • Every year, more than 15 million people worldwide receive a post-bite vaccination. This is estimated to prevent hundreds of thousands of rabies deaths annually.

The SPCA gives the following advice:

What are the signs and symptoms?

Rabies has an incubation period of a few days to over 3 months. During the incubation phase an animal will show no signs and will appear completely healthy.
There are varying symptoms and often rabies in the early stages can be misdiagnosed as parvo, distemper or other diseases.


There are two types on rabies; ferocious rabies and dumb rabies.

Ferocious rabies, the type most are familiar with, is when the animal will become aggressive.  This type often displays in domestic animals.

Dumb rabies causes the animal to appear more docile and often displays in wild animals.

In the end stages of rabies, infected animals will have a glazed look, slack jaw and possible paralysis. The infected animal will display ‘fly catching movements’ and is prone to attacking anything that moves.

How is Rabies prevented?

Your pets should be vaccinated for rabies at 3 months old, with a follow up at 4 months and then annually thereafter. If the mother was vaccinated her immunity will protect the babies up until 3 months.


It is important to note that if the animal is already incubating the rabies disease a vaccination will not prevent rabies, but will prolong the incubation period by up to one month. We must stress the need to take any sick animal to a Veterinarian, especially if they have not had all their puppy/kitten vaccinations. These diseases are not predictable and can have unforeseen, potentially serious consequences for pets and humans.


What do I do if I or my pet was bitten?

If you or your pet has been bitten, make sure to get written proof of vaccinations for the animal that attacked you. If there is no proof of vaccinations, you need to clean the wound thoroughly and get to a vet for your animal, or government hospital for yourself immediately. This is a notifiable communicable disease and needs to be reported to the authorities. Government hospitals or clinics will provide free advice and treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms? Rabies has an incubation period of a few days to over 3 months. During the incubation phase an animal will show no signs and will appear completely healthy.

There are varying symptoms and often rabies in the early stages can be misdiagnosed as parvo, distemper or other diseases.

There are two types on rabies; ferocious rabies and dumb rabies. Ferocious rabies, the type most are familiar with, is when the animal will become aggressive.  This type often displays in domestic animals. Dumb rabies causes the animal to appear more docile and often displays in wild animals.

In the end stages of rabies, infected animals will have a glazed look, slack jaw and possible paralysis. The infected animal will display ‘fly catching movements’ and is prone to attacking anything that moves.

How is Rabies prevented? Your pets should be vaccinated for rabies at 3 months old, with a follow up at 4 months and then annually thereafter. If the mother was vaccinated her immunity will protect the babies up until 3 months.

It is important to note that if the animal is already incubating the rabies disease a vaccination will not prevent rabies, but will prolong the incubation period by up to one month. We must stress the need to take any sick animal (adopted or not) to a Veterinarian, especially if they have not had all their puppy/kitten vaccinations. These diseases are not predictable and can have unforeseen, potentially serious consequences for pets and humans.

What do I do if I or my pet was bitten? If you or your pet has been bitten, make sure to get written proof of vaccinations for the animal that attacked you. If there is no proof of vaccinations, you need to clean the wound thoroughly and get to a vet for your animal, or government hospital for yourself immediately. This is a notifiable communicable disease and needs to be reported to the authorities. Government hospitals or clinics will provide free advice and treatment. 

- See more at: http://www.spcadbn.org.za/newsarticle.asp?id=3076#sthash.nqQVYHOe.dpuf