We all know rabies is a viral illness spread via the saliva of an infected animal and it usually happens when an animal bites another human. Transmission can also occur through saliva through touching an open wound or touching mucous membranes. But how does it really work in our body? Basically, viruses work like this: According to experts, most cells have both DNA and RNA; these are the genetic coding and building blocks of life. When cells divide, the genetic information is copied and transferred to each cell. Viruses are one-celled creatures that have only one or the other. Rabies is an RNA virus. Rabies virus belongs to a group called Rhabdoviruses, which are bullet-shaped viruses with a hard sheath. Viruses are incapable of dividing or reproducing on their own, so they use other cells to do this for them. A virus will attach itself to another cell, such as a blood cell, and inject its genetic coding into the cell. This changes what the cell does, from being a red blood cell or a liver cell to becoming a little virus factory. The virus repeats itself inside the cell over and over until the cell literally breaks open, and all these little viruses go out and attach themselves to other cells.
Rabies Prevention and Vaccination
Prevention is an easy step. Rabies can be prevented by vaccination, both in humans and other animals. All dogs and cats more than four months of age should be vaccinated and keep pets vaccinated at least two years. Law prohibits animals to roam unsupervised so keep your animal under control. Also, studies believed unsupervised and roaming pets are more likely to have more chances to be exposed to rabies than those supervised by their owners. Leave stray or unknown dogs and cats alone; call your local animal specialist for animal control. Furthermore, make your property unattractive to wild animals. Seal off any openings in attics, under porches and in basements that may wild animal can go through. Lastly, feed your pets indoors and keep trash cans tightly closed. If you would-be victim of the virus, only a doctor is qualified to give medical advice, and prescribe post treatment. Keep in mind that bite victims are required to get tetanus shots together with the first shot. The first thing you can do is to wash the bitten area with soap and water, then contact your physician or the local emergency ward. If a pet has been in contact with potential rabies, the same applies. Take cautions with the animal, and contact your vet as soon as possible.
It is often accompanied by a fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, nausea, and fatigue. As the infection progresses, someone infected with rabies may develop any of these symptoms.
- Excessive movements or agitation
- Bizarre or abnormal thoughts
- Muscle spasms
The Rabies Awareness Month is an annual campaign held every March and accordance to RA 9482, the Anti-Rabies Law of 2007 and Executive Order No. 84, series of 1999, declaring March as the rabies awareness month rationalizing the control measures for the prevention and eradication of Rabies. Other than free rabies vaccination drive, programs on responsible pet ownership are held. This event highlights the danger of the disease and the importance of vaccinating dogs and cats against rabies. In addition, prevention of the disease as well as measures taken in case one has been bitten by a suspected rabid animal. According to the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippines aim to be rabies-free by 2020.
- If you get bitten by another dog again someday, you will only be required to get a booster shot.
- You must not squeeze bites and scratches, squeezing will rupture vessels and will aid the entry of the virus into your system The best thing to do is just really clean with soap and water then go and get medical attention.
- You can go a day or two after the days you’re supposed to go back for the vaccine shot.
- If you are in contact with a suspected animal, try to save the specimen if possible, especially the head. The brain will be sent to the Laboratory for testing.
- Before the vaccination proved a successful alternative, dogs were not man’s best friend. Mass slaughter was the primary approach to eradicating rabies, and the status of dogs was always rather unsteady.