In developed worlds, rabies is mostly a thing of the past. In some instances, wild dogs or animals with rabies may come into contact with humans but is usually taken care of quickly and safely.
In developing countries, however, rabies is still a current and deadly threat. Many children in these countries die from rabies due to lack of knowledge and medical treatment. This is a completely avoidable death that can be cured quickly and safely if addressed properly.
In honor of World Rabies Day, here are the steps you should take if you suspect contact with rabies:
If you or a loved one suspects they have bitten by a rabid dog, here is what you should do:
1. Wash wound for 15 minutes.
Use mild, antiseptic soap, if available, and use lukewarm to cool water. This will help reduce inflammation and help calm the bite victim.
2. Use antiseptic.
Once you have washed your hands, you will want to use an antiseptic rinse such as hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, or iodine. Doing so will work toward preventing secondary infection and will be able to keep the wound clean and irritant-free.
3. Seek medical attention.
Now that the wound is clean, you will want to seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is best to call for an ambulance while you are washing the wound. This way, they will get to you quickly without jeopardizing the wound.
While many of us know about the threat of rabies, few of us realize how common and deadly rabies can be. The best thing you can do to protect yourself and others from rabies is to educate those around you. You can do this by talking to your family and loved ones, organizing an event, or donating to the Global Alliance For Rabies Control. Any way you decide will help you and others around the world understand the danger of rabies and learn how to prevent it.
Make Treatment Readily Available
In developing countries, it is necessary that we make rabies vaccinations and treatments readily available to the public. This way, the public will be safe and will no longer fear dogs and other animals. Because of rabies, many animals have been killed, often in inhumane ways, to prevent the spread of rabies.
This does not stop or even curb the threat, however. Dogs and other wild animals will always come to the territory after the death of an animal to claim it as their own. Because of this, the cycle only continues. Making education and treatment available to the public will help prevent unnecessary human and animal death.