IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

RABIES

14th September, 2022 Health

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Context

  • Over 95,000 people in Kerala have been bitten by stray dogs this year, leading to 14 deaths. Of these, five had taken the rabies vaccine, showed the state’s health ministry data. This questions on the efficacy of shots and whether proper protocol is being followed while treating bites.

 

Rabies

  • Rabies is a viral disease that causes encephalitis in humans and other mammals.
  • Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses, including the rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus. It is spread when an infected animal bites or scratches a human or other animals. Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose. Globally, dogs are the most common animal involved. In countries where dogs commonly have the disease, more than 99% of rabies cases are the direct result of dog bites.
  • Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. These symptoms are followed by one or more of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness.

  • Rabies causes about 59,000 deaths worldwide per year, about 40% of which are in children under the age of 15. More than 95% of human deaths from rabies occur in Africa and Asia.
  • Rabies is present in more than 150 countries and on all continents but Antarctica. More than 3 billion people live in regions of the world where rabies occurs. A number of countries, including Australia and Japan, as well as much of Western Europe, do not have rabies among dogs. Many Pacific islands do not have rabies at all. It is classified as a neglected tropical disease.

 

Prevention

  • The rabies vaccine is a vaccine used to prevent rabies. There are a number of rabies vaccines available that are both safe and effective. They can be used to prevent rabies before, and, for a period of time, after exposure to the rabies virus, which is commonly caused by a dog bite or a bat bite.

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/rabies-deaths-in-kerala-despite-vaccinations-raises-concerns-84895

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