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Updated on January 20, 2016
Rabies infographics
Rabies infographics | Source
Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur
Pasteur treating rabies
Pasteur treating rabies
Zoonotic Disease
Zoonotic Disease
Rabies Vaccine
Rabies Vaccine
Incidence of Rabies in India
Incidence of Rabies in India
OMNRF Rabies Control Zone
OMNRF Rabies Control Zone

The Virulent Killer


" What would you do if your neighbor dog bite you?" Beware! Please don't overlook it. Cases of dog bites are innumerable in various parts of the world. In such cases, medical attention is required instantaneously/urgently.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is an aggressive viral disease that spreads through the brain in human beings and other warm blooded animals. It is considered to be a zoonotic disease. It is a virulent killer that may even take your life away since it is incurable. Medical researchers are still not able to draw a final conclusion on how to ward off this fatal disease.

Origin of Rabies:

The term 'Rabies' is borrowed from the Latin meaning "madness". According to the Greeks, they derived the word lyssa, from lud or "violent". It belongs to the category of rabies Lyssavirus.

Contribution of Louis Pasteur-:

Louis Pasteur, a well known French Chemist and microbiologist designed the first vaccines for Rabies. On 6th July, 1885, he conducted his first experiment on a nine year old boy, Joseph Mister where he was bitten by a rabid dog several times in his village. He injected the vaccine into Joseph twelve times for a period of ten days. The wound slowly began to heal and the experiment proved to be successful.

Rabies Vaccine and its side effects:

The only way to preempt the disease is by using rabies vaccine. It is highly recommended that you should not take the vaccine if you are facing difficulty from the following side effects which are as follows:

  • Very high temperature
  • Strain on your eyes
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Eating problems

Apart from the above mentioned side effects, there are other examples to quote:

  • Head-ache
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea and
  • Stomach pain

Rabies control measures endorsed by Pet Owners:

Memphis and Shelby County Health Department launched a program to counter the spread of rabies. The pet owners must compulsorily have their pets vaccinated at least once a year by a licensed veterinarian.

In Flores Island, Indonesia. Some of the dog owners living in villages of Sikka and Manggarai districts realized that Rabies is an incurable disease and that it can be stopped. Nearly 52% of the dog owners had their dogs vaccinated back in the year 2012 during a vaccination campaign


Overall, human deaths toll amounts to 55,000 from rabies worldwide Take the case of America, many people there have been repeatedly bitten by stray dogs. As per the statistics, almost thousands of Americans have become victims to the dog bites each year. In India, it is estimated to be around 20,000..

Rabies Awareness Campaign:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Rabies Day (September 28th which is observed as World Rabies Day) with a purpose to heighten the awareness about rabies and how to strengthen efforts to prevent and control the disease.

It enlightens on how to evade/stay away from the animals such as raccoons, foxes, bats and skunks.

Measures taken to ward off rabies are as follows:

  • Build an awareness among children about rabies.
  • Organize Public Education Campaigns in far away areas to spread awareness about rabies
  • Provide necessary training to Medical Colleges regarding animal bite management
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)is highly recommended in areas where dog population is large.
  • Stay away from stray animals.
  • Protect your pets like rabbit or other small pets from predators by keeping them inside or in protective cages.
  • Report stray animals to local animal control officials or local law enforcement.
  • Seal any cracks or gaps where bats tend to enter your home.
  • Vaccinate domestic dogs as well as pet dogs.
  • Dog catchers, medical and paramedical staff must pay close attention when they are dealing with rabies patients and animals.
  • Consult a doctor immediately for anti rabies vaccine when you are bitten by an animal.

Rabies In India:

Rabies are very local in India. The percentage of rabies cases in India has remained steady for over a decade. But there is a general lack of awareness among some people to prevent the disease and to take preventive measures since it is not a noticeable one. A major spur in weeding out the disease is the lack of coordination and inadequate national programmes.

Many other Asian countries such as Sri Lanka and Thailand have stepped forward to organize such programmes thereby throwing some light on improvements in India.

WHO has come up with an objective to wipe out this deadly disease from the South-East-Asia region by the year 2020.

Comments by Animal Rights Activist:

Union Women and Child Development Minister and People for Animal (PFA) chairperson Maneka Gandhi opposed to slaughtering of dogs. From her point of view, she stated that rabies infection may not be caused due to dog bites and each one is not delirius. Mass killing of dogs is not a quick fix to prevent rabies outbreak. She added that well-timed vaccination could find a solution to this issue.

Role of Kerala Government to curb Rabies:

With the rising stray dog menace in the state, they are not able to bring the situation under control. Kerala Government has promised to boost Rabies Vaccine Fund followed by the outburst of Dog menace in Kerala.

Case Studies:

Back in April,22, 2015 Washington D.C., Journal of Clinical Microbiology which is a publication of the American Society for Microbiology reported/proclaimed that for the first time in France in over a decade, a group of French Clinicians spotted a rabies case. The person was unfamiliar of having being bitten.

Similar to the above one, the Wyoming Department of Health registered their first rabies case in the state of Wyoming, U.S. on Oct 6, 2015. The case was authorized by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The details of the case is very handy. Various other sources pointed out a women residing in Fremont County who was hospitalized is still battling with the deadly disease.


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