The 28th of September marks the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur. Who was Louis Pasteur? He was a French microbiologist and chemist, and he developed the very first vaccine for rabies in 1885. It is in light of this fact, that World Rabies Day is observed on the 28th of every September, to raise awareness about the risks and prevention of rabies.
So what is rabies?
Rabies is a deadly virus that spreads through contact with the saliva of infected animals. This usually happens when a person sustains an animal bite. The virus may also spread if infected saliva contacts an open wound, or with the mucous membranes (ex: mouth and eyes), but this is comparatively rare.
Common animals that can carry and spread rabies include cats, dogs, cows, goats, horses, monkeys, and bats.
Here are some steps that you can take to keep yourself and your little ones safe from this lethal disease:
- Get vaccinated
This advice is for you, your children, and your furry family members. If you have pets, you are duty bound to get them vaccinated against rabies for their protection as well as your own. It’s also important to get vaccinated if you’re traveling to places where rabies is known to be prevalent.
- Teach kids not to play with strays
Many of us are animal lovers and enjoy playing with the local strays in our community, but as adults, we take care to avoid sick animals and to wash our hands (or use disinfectant) after such interactions. It is absolutely vital that we teach our children the same precautions.
- Stay away from wild animals
Rabies sometimes causes abnormal behavior in an infected animal. For example, it’s not normal for a wild animal to be fearless when it sees a human. If you see a wild animal that appears unafraid or even friendly, be cautious and stay away from it.
- Don’t waste a moment
Once a person starts showing signs of rabies, the disease is always fatal, and treatment can only be supportive. If you ever experience an animal bite, rush to the nearest medical facility for advice on rabies treatment.