A­wa­re­ness: ra­bies

George Herald - - At Your Servicce -

Ra­bies is a con­ta­gi­ous and de­ad­ly vi­ral di­se­a­se that cau­ses da­ma­ge to the brain and the spi­nal cord.

It af­fects both hu­mans and a­ni­mals, and in most ca­ses it re­sults in de­ath on­ce the di­se­a­se symp­toms de­ve­lop.

How is ra­bies spre­ad?

The ra­bies vi­rus is found in the sa­li­va and ner­vous tis­sue of in­fected a­ni­mals. It is trans­mit­ted to hu­mans and ot­her a­ni­mals through con­tact with the sa­li­va or tis­sue of an in­fected a­ni­mal; bi­tes, scra­t­ches, licks on bro­ken skin and mu­cous mem­bra­nes. On­ce the symp­toms of the di­se­a­se de­ve­lop, ra­bies be­co­mes fa­tal to both hu­mans and a­ni­mals.

W­hat are the symp­toms of ra­bies in hu­mans?

Ra­bies symp­toms may occur as e­ar­ly as one week and as la­te as se­ver­al y­e­ars af­ter con­tact with, or bi­te from an in­fected a­ni­mal. Seek tre­at­ment im­me­di­a­te­ly af­ter an a­ni­mal bi­te. Do not wait for symp­toms to de­ve­lop.

The symp­toms in hu­mans in­clu­de: he­a­da­che and fe­ver; ir­ri­ta­bi­li­ty, re­st­less­ness and anx­ie­ty; muscle pains, ma­lai­se, hyd­rop­ho­bia (fe­ar of wa­ter) and vo­mi­ting; ho­ar­se voi­ce; pa­ra­ly­sis; men­tal dis­or­der; pro­fu­se sa­li­va­ti­on; and dif­fi­cul­ty swal­lo­wing.

W­hat to do fol­lo­wing a bi­te or con­tact with a sus­pected ra­bid a­ni­mal

If you had been bit­ten or had con­tact with a dog or stray a­ni­mal, a pet or farm a­ni­mal that is be­ha­ving stran­ge­ly (wild a­ni­mals be­co­me friend­ly or do­mes­tic a­ni­mals be­co­me wild), ta­ke the fol­lo­wing steps:

Wash the wound with cle­an wa­ter and so­ap im­me­di­a­te­ly for at le­ast ten mi­nu­tes; Ap­ply an an­ti­sep­tic et­ha­nol or i­o­di­ne; Im­me­di­a­te­ly con­sult a doc­tor for tre­at­ment and ad­vi­ce; and Con­tact your ne­a­rest sta­te ve­te­ri­na­ri­an, cli­nic or doc­tor.

W­hen should you sus­pect that an a­ni­mal is in­fected with ra­bies?

Sus­pect that an a­ni­mal is in­fected with ra­bies w­hen it shows be­ha­vi­ou­ral chan­ges such as re­st­less­ness, ir­ri­ta­bi­li­ty, ex­ci­ta­bi­li­ty and shy­ness.

How do a­ni­mals be­co­me in­fected?

W­hen bit­ten by an in­fected a­ni­mal; Du­ring a fig­ht be­t­ween a pet and an unkno­wn or stray a­ni­mal; and

In­ju­ries of unkno­wn o­ri­gin in a do­mes­tic a­ni­mal.

How is ra­bies con­trol­led?

Im­me­di­a­te­ly i­so­la­te the sus­pected a­ni­mal and in­form your sta­te ve­te­ri­na­ri­an.

Ha­ve your dogs and cats vac­ci­na­ted re­gu­lar­ly (all pets three mont­hs or ol­der must be vac­ci­na­ted).

Do not al­low your pets to ro­am the streets. Do not hand­le a­ni­mals sus­pected of being in­fected. Ra­bies is a dan­ge­rous in­fecti­on.

Re­port all sus­pected ra­bies ca­ses to your ne­a­rest sta­te ve­te­ri­na­ri­an, a­ni­mal he­alth techni­ci­an or to the po­li­ce.

W­hat a­ni­mals are most of­ten im­pli­ca­ted in ra­bies trans­mis­si­on?

Do­mes­tic: dogs, cats, sheep, go­ats, horses, don­keys, pigs and gui­nea pigs.

Wild: mon­goo­se, su­ri­ca­te mon­goo­se, ci­vet, s­mall spot­ted ge­net, ca­ra­cal, ser­val, li­on, A­fri­can wil­d­cat, s­mall-spot­ted cat, fe­lid spe­cies, ho­ney bad­ger, stri­ped po­le­cat, stri­ped we­a­sel, black-bac­ked jackal, ba­te­a­red fox, wild dog, Ca­pe fox, aard­wolf, bro­wn hy­e­na, ground squir­rel, tree squir­rel, gre­a­ter ca­ne cat, ca­pe hy­rax, C­hak­ma ba­boon, wart­hog, im­pa­la, dui­ker, steen­bok, ku­du, e­land, bles­bok, bushbuck, reed­buck, s­pring­bok, Bur­chell's ze­bra, her­bi­vo­re spe­cies and sc­rub ha­re.

P­ho­ne 044 873 5527 to get the con­tact de­tail of the sta­te ve­te­ri­na­ri­an in your dis­trict.

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