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Rabies Prophylaxis Blog

Rabies Shots for Dogs Would Save People in Developing Countries: Study

Posted 26 Sep 2014 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 25, 2014 – Mass rabies vaccination programs for dogs in developing nations could eliminate human cases of the deadly disease, a new study suggests. Rabies is rare in developed nations due to widespread vaccination of dogs. However, the disease kills about 69,000 people worldwide each year, or 189 a day. Forty percent of rabies victims are children, mostly in Africa and Asia, according to background information with the study. The saliva of infected dogs is the primary source of infection in people. "The irony is that rabies is 100 percent preventable. People shouldn't be dying at all," study co-author Dr. Guy Palmer, a veterinary infectious disease expert and director of the Washington State University School for Global Animal Health, said in a university news release. Political complacency and a lack of international commitment are among the reasons why rabies in ... Read more

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More Kids Opting Out of School-Required Vaccinations: Study

Posted 19 Sep 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 – The number of parents who opted out of school-required vaccines for their children because of non-medical reasons, such as religious or philosophical beliefs, increased between 2005 and 2011, according to U.S. researchers. During this period, the rates of non-medical exemptions were higher in the states with easy opt-out policies, such as California and Maryland, and in those states that allowed philosophical, instead of only religious, exemptions. "The more relaxed these requirements are, as we and others have shown, the easier it is to get an exemption, the higher the rates of exemptions," said Saad Omer, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, and lead study author. "It is common sense to me that it should not be easier to file for an exemption than it is to get your kid vaccinated," Omer said. Every state requires vaccines for ... Read more

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Health Tip: Preventing Rabies

Posted 7 Sep 2012 by

-- Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year occur in wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. Domestic animals such as cats and dogs account for fewer than 10 percent of reported cases. The CDC offers these suggestions to help prevent rabies: Keep vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats and ferrets. This is important not only to keep your pets from getting rabies, but also to protect you and your family if your animal is bitten by a rabid carrier. Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance immediately. Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood. Spay ... Read more

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Untreated Rabies May Not Be Lethal for All, Study Says

Posted 1 Aug 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 – Bucking the notion that untreated rabies always proves lethal to humans, scientists studying the virus in isolated pockets of the world have found evidence that either natural resistance or an immune response may stave off certain death for some. Traveling to the Peruvian Amazon, where outbreaks of rabies infections are spurred by highly common vampire bats, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention learned that 10 percent of natives appeared to have survived exposure to the virus without any medical intervention. Another 11 percent were found to have antibodies in their blood that would neutralize rabies. "This is a potential game-changer if the study is repeated successfully," said Dr. Rodney Willoughby Jr., a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and the author of an editorial accompanying the ... Read more

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Vaccinations Aren't Just for Kids

Posted 16 Sep 2011 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 16 – Public health experts often focus immunization awareness efforts toward protecting children, and with good reason: Facing a potentially bewildering schedule of vaccinations for their young ones, parents usually need all the help they can get. But vaccinations aren't just kid stuff. Medical science is creating an increasing number of immunizations targeted at adults, to help them avoid life-threatening diseases in middle-age and opportunistic infections when they're older. "Immunization is a life-long issue that we need to pay a lot of attention to," said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Some adult vaccinations are very well-known, like the annual shot that aims to prevent the spread of influenza. "You need an influenza shot every year," Benjamin said. "Part of that is because the virus changes every year, ... Read more

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Rabid Stray Dog Spurs Shots for Shelter Workers: Report

Posted 7 Jan 2011 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 6 – A newly published case history highlights the importance of rabies vaccinations for pets and animal shelter workers. The report details a situation involving a stray dog found in rural Minnesota and taken to a North Dakota animal shelter in March 2010. When it was later learned that the dog had rabies, public health officials began an investigation using animal shelter records and a public notification to identify people and animals who may have had contact with the rabid dog. As a result, post-exposure rabies vaccine was given to 21 people, including nine animal shelter workers and one volunteer. Because of potential contact with the rabid dog, 36 dogs were euthanized, including some that had been housed with the rabid animal and others that might have been exposed and were not up-to-date on their rabies shots. As of December 2010, there had been no reported cases ... Read more

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One Shot May Someday Replace Six for Rabies

Posted 16 Jul 2010 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23 – An experimental rabies vaccine that may require only one injection produced promising results in animals, U.S. researchers report. Currently, people exposed to rabies have to undergo six shots over 28 days – five injections of the rabies vaccine and one injection of rabies immunoglobulin. The new replication-deficient rabies virus vaccine lacks a key gene called the matrix (M) gene, according to a news release from Thomas Jefferson University, where the research was performed. "The M gene is one of the central genes of the rabies virus, and its absence inhibits the virus from completing its life cycle. The virus in the vaccine infects cells and induces an immune response, but the virus is deficient in spreading," James McGettigan, an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Jefferson Medical College at the university in Philadelphia, said in the news ... Read more

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Texas Girl Recovers From Rabies Without Intensive Care

Posted 25 Feb 2010 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 – The seemingly miraculous recovery from rabies of a 17-year-old Texas girl – diagnosed months after a suspected bat bite – is leaving doctors scratching their heads and wondering if such cases might be less rare than is believed. The case "suggests the rare possibility that abortive rabies can occur in humans and might go unrecognized," write a team of researchers reporting in this week's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. As noted in the report, rabies – typically transferred to humans via the bites of infected animals such as dogs, raccoons or bats – is largely fatal if left untreated, and only six such patients have been known to survive worldwide. In late February of 2009, the girl in question was brought to a Texas hospital, disoriented and in serious pain. She received ... Read more

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