September 28 marks the World Rabies Day every year. Rabies, which is a dangerous virus that infects warm-blooded animals and adversely affects their central nervous system, is said to cause deaths of approximately 59,000 people annually in more than 100 countries.

The WHO states that rabies mostly impacts in countries which lack veterinary systems and limited medical care. It's an incurable disease which is capable of killing an infected animal within 5 days. Living animals cannot be checked for rabies, only testing the brain tissues of dead animals can reveal if it was infected.

Animal bite can infect you with rabies, which gets transmitted through the saliva of the animal. It can also spread if any open wound or scratch on your body gets in touch with the animals' saliva. It's found that even humans can transmit this disease to animals.

The incubation period of the wound varies from as little as 9 days to 8 weeks, depending on how brutal the wound is and how far it is located from the brain. The farther the wound will be from the brain, the longer the incubation period will be.

You can only get infected with the rabies virus only after the commencement of the clinical symptoms in the animal.

Here's how you can protect your pets from this fatal ailment:

  • Provide updated rabies vaccination to your pet.
  • Make sure you take your pet to the veterinarian regularly.
  • Get your pet checked for sure if it bites any human or animal.
  • In case you are bitten by any animal, immediately wash the wound with soap water and antiseptic for about 15 minutes and consult your physician.
  • Do get your pet and yourself checked despite no wounds being visible after encountering another animal.
  • Make sure you stay updated and well-educated about this deadly illness.

Do you know these interesting facts about rabies?

  • Antarctica is the only rabies-free continent.
  • Other than dogs, bats, raccoons, foxes, mongooses, jackals, skunks are known for spreading rabies.
  • 95 percent of human deaths caused by rabies in Africa and Asia are caused by dogs. And 80 percent of these people belong to the rural population.
  • Human rabies, which is caused by dog bites can be prevented with the help of drugs.
  • Countries have joined hands to work towards eliminating any human deaths caused by rabies by the year 2030.