Rabies Awareness Day: WHO says 99% of rabies cases in humans are caused by dog bites

Cameroon joined the international community to observe the 17th world rabies day on Thursday September 28, 2023 under the theme: “All for 1, One Health for all”.

It is a day that aims to raise awareness and advocate for rabies elimination globally.

Rabies is a vaccine-preventable, zoonotic, viral disease that affects the central nervous system. Once clinical symptoms appear, rabies is virtually 100% fatal. In up to 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans.

Reason why an awareness campaign is necessary for its total elimination as told us by Mr Raymond NDUMBI, Babadjou subdivisional delegate of livestock, fisheries and animal industries.

” To totally wipe out rabies in our communities, people have to know that our domestic animals like dogs and cats are our good friends and need to take total care about them including their health. Do not let them move anyhow. Avoid isolated dogs also. Because they might be contaminated with rabies” says the senior veterinary officer.

“To effectively prevent the disease from our localities, let’s vaccinate our animals and free of charge in various subdivisions” he adds

Rabies can affect both domestic and wild animals. It spreads to people and animals via saliva, usually through bites, scratches or direct contact with mucosa (e.g. eyes, mouth or open wounds). Children between the age of 5 and 14 years are frequent victims.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, 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 more than 3 billion people live in regions of the world where rabies occurs.

Source: Cameroon News Agency