Rabies Fact Sheet

ABOUT 59 000 DEATHS OCCUR ANUALLY WORLDWIDE DUE TO RABIES

40% of the victims are children younger than 15. The virus attacks the brain and is fatal once symptoms appear. Vaccinating saves lives. Rabies is 100% preventable.

VIRUS TRANSMISSION

Transmitted from a rabid animal via saliva that can enter the body through:

  • Bites
  • Scratches or open wounds

PET VACCINATIONS

  • An animal in an enclosed yard is still at risk and must be vaccinated.
  • Vaccinating 70% of dogs breaks the rabies transmission cycle in an area at risk.

TREATMENT & PREVENTION

  • Washing of the wound with soap (for at least 15 minutes).
  • Preventive & post-exposure vaccine injections.
  • Seek immediate medical care, if bitten or scratched by an infected animal.

INCREASE SURVEILLANCE

  • Any warm-blooded mammal can carry or contract Rabies.
  • Unprovoked abnormal aggression.
  • Abnormal behaviour.
  • Restlessness.
  • Incoordination and paralysis.
  • Hyper salivation.

RABIES VIRUSES IN ANIMAL CARCASSES

  • The virus can persist in animal carcasses brain matter for 18 days at cold temperatures (4°C) and for 3 days at 35°C. ¹
  • The virus is no longer infectious once the material containing the virus is dry.

¹ McElhinney LM, Marston DA, Brookes SM, Fooks AR. Effects of carcase decomposition on rabies virus infectivity and detection. J Virol Methods. 2014 Oct;207:110-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2014.06.024. Epub 2014 Jul 7. PMID: 25010791.