Any warm-blooded animal can be a source of rabies, for humans most often dogs are such a source. The disease is fatal if the symptoms are ignored and can be easily prevented. Vaccination and proper handling of stray dogs and cats have helped to significantly reduce the incidence of rabies in most countries.
Method 1 of 2: Preventing Rabies in Humans and Dogs
Step 1. Vaccination
Most often, human infection occurs from pets. If you keep vaccinated dogs, cats, ferrets, then this is an excellent prevention of rabies for you and them. Get your pets vaccinated by a veterinarian.
Step 2. Watch your animal while walking
Don't let him come in contact with wild animals. Mammals such as squirrels, raccoons, possums, bats can infect your dog, cat or ferret with rabies when bitten. Keep animals on a leash or at home to prevent this from happening.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends keeping cats and ferrets at home all year round.
- If you are walking your dog outdoors, inquire about the potential for rabies in the area to contract wild animals.
Step 3. Reduce the number of stray animals in your area
Call the animal control center if you spot suspicious animals. Your pets must be neutered or sterilized. These actions will reduce the number of unvaccinated stray animals.
Make sure your children avoid contact with stray animals
Step 4. Don't touch wild animals
Do not touch, feed, or draw the attention of stray animals. Don't bring them home - it could be dangerous for you and your loved ones.
- When traveling, avoid contact with wild animals or stray dogs.
- Do not help sick or injured animals. Call a stray and wildlife control center or veterinarian.
- Take measures to combat bats that live near homes, schools, workplaces, where they may come into contact with people and / or animals.
Step 5. Be careful abroad
Some countries in the world have a high incidence of rabies. Check with your doctor or local health department about your rabies situation. Learn about the risk of exposure, prior prevention, and what to do if you get rabies.
Method 2 of 2: Fighting infection
Step 1. Get immediate medical attention if you are bitten
Seek medical attention immediately if you have been bitten by a wild animal or any animal that may be infected with rabies. If your pet has been bitten, see your veterinarian. A delay of even one day can be deadly.
Step 2. Treat the wound immediately
If several hours pass before you seek medical attention, take the following steps:
- Wash the wound with soap and water. According to the WHO, the elimination of the rabies virus from the site of introduction using chemical and physical means is very effective.
- Treat the wound with ethanol or iodine solution. These antiseptics will kill sensitive bacteria.
Step 3. Go to the hospital
If you are not vaccinated, your doctor will prescribe you rabies immunoglobulin, which will slow the spread of the virus from the site of the bite. Vaccinations are given at individual intervals.
- People who are not vaccinated against rabies are given 4 doses of rabies immunoglobulin. The first is placed upon admission, then on the third, seventh and fourteenth day. Human rabies immunoglobulin is injected with the first dose of rabies immunoglobulin.
- People vaccinated against rabies are vaccinated with 2 doses of rabies immunoglobulin. The first is put on admission, the second on the third day.
- If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Rabies is widespread in the developing countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America. Wild dogs are the most common carriers of rabies. In other countries, such as America, raccoons are the main sources of rabies.
- If you are bitten by a pet or wild animal, see your doctor, even if the animal has a rabies vaccination mark on its collar.
- Stay away from stray animals. They are probably not vaccinated, which means they may be infected.
- Teach kids to love their own animals and stay away from strangers and wild animals.
- Be sure to tell your family if you get bitten.
- Rabies is very dangerous for humans, as it is fatal if left untreated.