- Rabies has the highest case fatality rate of any infectious disease.
- Rabies is 100% preventable.
- Rabies is a disease of ALL MAMMALS (including humans)
- Rabies is mainly transmitted from one animal to another through the bite of a rabid animal
- Practice responsible animal ownership: annual vaccination of your animals against rabies (Ksh 100 for 1 vaccin)
- A healthy animal makes a healthy owner.
The clinical signs of Rabies involve typically Central Nervous System (CNS) disturbance. The disease has 3 phases that are different from each other depending on the stage and severity of CNS damage. The clinical picture however might be different from one species to another.
- A continuous bellowing which may continue intermittently until shortly before death
- In lactating animals, milk production ceases abruptly
- the animal is alert (the eyes and ears follow sound and movement).
- Attack or pursue other animals and people.
- Exhibiting difficulty in swallowing and fears water (hydrophobia).
NB: Cattle handlers and owners will almost always attempt to determine the cause of excessive salivation therefore exposing themselves to the virus.
Given some of the clinical signs are seen in cattle, veterinary intervention should be sought immediately.
DOGS “mad dog syndrome”
- Become irritable and will attack with the slightest provocation.
- Posture and expression is one of alertness and anxiety with pupils dilated
- Noise may invite an attack.
- May lose caution and fear of other animals and people.
HORSES / DONKEYS:
- Show evidence of distress and extreme agitation.
- These signs accompanied by rolling may be misinterpreted as colic.
The action(s) taken immediately after the bite by a suspected rabid animal determines the chances of survival of the victim.
- Wash bite wound with soap and water
- Apply iodine on wound where possible
- SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
- Wound care
- Local infiltration with hyper-immune rabies globulin and
- Post exposure prophylaxis with an anti-rabies vaccine that is repeated up to 4 times.