Rabies Kills 50,000-60,000 People
Around the World Every Year –
Vaccinate Your Pets,
Educate Your Whole Family
Milton - According to the Alliance for Rabies Control (a charity based in the United Kingdom), rabies kills between 50,000 – 60,000 people globally each year. As a preventable disease, these numbers are unacceptable.
The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) is reminding everyone about the dangers of rabies and the importance of vaccinating pets against this deadly disease.
"In March of this year, a man tested positive for rabies when he was bitten by a bat who slipped into his home while he slept," says Dr. Tim Zaharchuk, a veterinarian from Brampton, Ontario and a former president of OVMA. "Rabies is completely preventable, so any case of rabies in a developed country like Canada is unacceptable."
"If your pet has never been vaccinated against rabies, see your regular veterinarian immediately," continues Dr. Zaharchuk. If your pet has been vaccinated in the past, but you are not sure that the vaccination is still effective, call your veterinary clinic to find out if your pet is due for its next rabies vaccination."
Despite the great strides made in eradicating the disease in Ontario, rabies is still a health concern in this province.According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in Ontario, the first quarter of 2007 saw 17 confirmed cases of rabies in animals, most of which occurred in south-western Ontario. The cases included nine skunks, two bats, one dog, four cattle and one horse. By August the numbers jumped to 72 (63 cases of rabies in wildlife, 9 cases in domesticated animals.) In 2006, 82 cases of rabies were confirmed in animals in Ontario.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a contagious and fatal disease caused by a virus that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It is transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite or scratch.
Saturday, September 8 is World Rabies Day
Animal and human health agencies and veterinary organizations around the world will hold events on September 8th to raise awareness about rabies and rabies prevention. In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) today held a Rabies Symposium in Nepean. The goal is to raise awareness among Canadians with a panel of keynote speakers from the community of researchers, veterinarians, wildlife biologists and public health officials.
Protecting Your Family and Your Pet
• Have your pets vaccinated. It's the only way to keep them safe and prevent them from passing rabies onto humans.
• Avoid stray animals and animals you don't know to be vaccinated, no matter how cute or friendly they appear.
• If you or a family member is exposed to rabies, get medical help immediately.
For more information:
World Rabies Day:
2007 Ontario Rabies Research, Control & Eradication Program: http://www.ovma.org/extra/07rabies_research.html
Rabies, Rabies in Canada: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/disemala/rabrag/rabrage.shtmlFounded in 1980, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association represents more than 3,300 Ontario veterinarians in private practice, government, academia, industry and public service. Its mandate is to advance and promote excellence in the veterinary profession in Ontario, and contribute to the betterment of animal health and the protection of human health.