By Matthias Samuel
What is rabies
Rabies is a virus that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals including dogs, cats and humans. Though preventable, there is good reason that the word “rabies” evokes fear. Animals who have rabies secrete large amounts of virus in their saliva, the disease is primarily passed to dogs through a bite from an infected animal. It can also be transmitted through a scratch or when infected saliva contacts mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound.
Not every dog bite is rabies
According to Dr Naseem Salahuddin, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Rabies Committee and Head of Infection at Indus Hospital Karachi there are 3 types of dog bites which come to us.
- Patients who suffer from minor bites from dog bites. They need first aid, which is not a risk if provided.
- Patients who do not have deep wounds. Their blood did not come out. It also provides the necessary medical assistance. Usually they do not have rabies.
- Patients whose wounds are bleeding and have been brutally bitten by a dog, can be estimated that they have been bitten by a rabies victim. The first task in their treatment is injection of hemoglobin, which prevents the passage of the virus. The antibiotics are then injected periodically.
How to eliminate rabies
According to Dr Naseem Salahuddin, there is no doubt that the number of dogs has increased greatly, and this is certainly an environmental problem. Contrary to popular belief, Dr Nassim says poisoning dogs is not the solution to the problem. “This is a cruel act, but it is also safeguarding the human lives for which there can be different ways.” According to them, vaccines and sterilization are used to prevent and reduce the number of rabies diseases in dogs. She sets the example of Sri Lanka where it produced good results. “We started two pilot projects in the suburbs of Karachi in which 25,000 dogs were vaccinated and 3,000 dogs were sterilized.
According to WHO (world health organization), rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease. Vaccinating dogs is the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people. Education on dog behavior and bite prevention for both children and adults are an essential extension of a rabies vaccination program and can decrease both the incidence of human rabies and the financial burden of treating dog bites.
To know more about rabies its treatment and prevention visit the following site, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/rabies.