September 28th is the “World Day against rabies .” This event brings together professionals from the animal and human health that work together in order to eliminate rabies , a disease that kills about 55,000 people each year worldwide . One person dies every ten minutes.
But what is rabies exactly ? Well, it is a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of humans and warm-blooded animals . When symptoms begin to appear , rabies is almost always fatal.
Humans and animals can become infected after being bitten by an infected animal. It is also possible that people may get rabies if infectious products of a rabid animal , such as saliva, enter directly into the eyes , nose , mouth or a wound.
Animals can be affected by two types of rabies . The furious and paralytic . Affected animals often have a change in personality or behavior. Wild animals may lose their fear of humans and pets may become aggressive or shy . Often , the animal stops eating , may fear the water and has an unsteady gait . The paralysis may begin on the hind limbs and move toward the front of the body.
In Canada , the main vectors of animal rabies are raccoons , bats , foxes and skunks .
How to prevent this disease
-Vaccination of domestic animals, mostly cats, but cats dogs and ferrets, as well as horses and cattle.
-Do not let your pet wander freely , at least , have them come back inside at night.
-If you ever find a wild animal : do not touch it no matter what ! We must also teach our children .
-Do not give bats the chance of entering your home . Seal all possible entrances .
-Do not feed wild animals! Be careful to the garbage that often acts as open buffet for skunks and raccoons .
If you travel : Never go near stray dogs .
Rabies is a notifiable disease . If you suspect that an animal is rabid or has been exposed to rabies , the law requires you to declare it . Call the office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is closest to you , the number will appear in the blue pages of your telephone directory .
Here are the details of various CFIA offices across Canada: