What you need to know about rabies

Posted on 2020-10-01 12:50:45


To alert people to the dangers of the rabies virus, 28 September is World Rabies Day. Rabies is a very common disease in our country.

Rabies is a fatal disease in humans once symptoms appear, but this fate can almost always be prevented if medical measures are taken immediately. It is therefore essential to have every animal bite assessed.

Signs of a rabies infection are normally seen within 20 to 60 days, but infection can show up months, or even years, after an untreated bite.

In South Africa, it is compulsory for all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies, and people who work with animals – like veterinarians, game rangers and animal welfare workers – all need to be vaccinated. If they are then later exposed to rabies, all they require is a booster vaccination. This fearful disease can almost always be prevented, even after exposure. Death of human beings is therefore unnecessary, but can tragically occur where people are uninformed or ignore animal bites.

It is vital that people are informed about rabies and about the need for professional preventative treatment.

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