What is Rabies?
According to the US CDC, rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease. It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal. In the United States, rabies is mostly found in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. However, in many other countries dogs still carry rabies, and most rabies deaths worldwide are caused by dog bites.
After a potential rabies exposure, the virus infects the central nervous system, causing a disease in the brain, which can ultimately result into death , Rabies can be prevented by vaccinating pets, staying away from wildlife, and seeking medical care after potential exposures before symptoms start.[i]
“In Africa, about 25,000 humans’ deaths are associated with rabies every year, and approximately 40% of these rabies deaths occur in children under 15 years of age– Africa CDC Director General, H.E Dr Jean Kaseya.
“ALL FOR 1
ONE HEALTH FOR ALL”
On this world Rabies Day, Africa CDC takes the opportunity to raise awareness on this topic which is considered a major public health problem, through a social media campaign aimed at raising awareness among public health stakeholders, encouraging ongoing efforts, and advocating for African Member States, policy-makers, stakeholders to invest in Rabies eradication programmes as part of the Africa CDC New Public Health Order.
- Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease. It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal.
- You should take your pets to get vaccinated against rabies to protect yourself and your loved ones.
- One of the way to help prevent rabies is to avoid unfamiliar animals, even if they seem friendly.
- Please remember that rabies is a medical urgency but not an emergency. Don’t delay decisions.
- If you’ve been bitten or scratched, you should talk with a healthcare or public health professional to determine your risk for rabies or other illnesses.
- If you are a healthcare professional, you can be a champion by encouraging your health facility to initiate a mass vaccination campaign against rabies.
- You can be a champion and raise awareness of rabies in your local community by educating your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.
- One way of helping control and eradicate rabies is to become an advocate and join your local awareness and advocacy campaign.
How to join the campaign?
- Use one of the messages to create your own personalised poster using the campaign hashtag and tagging @AfricaCDC.
- Repost and share our posts using the campaign hashtag and tag @AfricaCDC
- Be a champion and raise awareness about rabies in your community.
- Be a champion and advocate for your government to invest in rabies eradication programs within your country.
- Participate in your local rabies awareness and advocacy campaign; click here to see where World Rabies Day events are taking place in your country.
Media inquiries: Litete Beyande Raïssa, Campaign and Promotion Officer – Policy, Health Diplomacy & Communication: Africa CDC | Email: LiteteR@africa-union.org
About Africa CDC: The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is a continental autonomous Public Health agency of the African Union which supports Member States in their efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention and control of diseases. Learn more at: http://www.africacdc.org