Rabies: what you need to know and how to avoid contracting it

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Rabies: what you need to know  and how to avoid contracting it

Did you know that rabies is one of the most serious diseases that can be transmitted to humans? Once the symptoms appear, rabies is fatal and infected people typically die within two weeks. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant to avoid catching it and to act fast if you think you’ve been infected.

How is rabies transmitted?

Rabies can be transmitted to humans by infected animals through bites, scratches or by coming in contact with their saliva or cerebrospinal fluid. The virus can enter the body through the eyes, mouth, nose and open wounds. Symptoms of the disease usually appear between three weeks and three months after being exposed to the virus.



Which animals can transmit rabies?

Rabies can only be transmitted by mammals. In North America, bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes are the most common carriers. These infected animals can then transmit rabies to other mammals, including pets such as cats and dogs and farm animals like cows and pigs.

What can be done to prevent rabies?

Here are five tips to keep in mind to avoid catching rabies:

1. Don’t pet, feed or capture wild animals, even if they look healthy.

2. Never handle dead wild animals with your bare hands.

3. Keep your pets indoors or on a leash to avoid contact with wild animals.

4. If you come into contact with a potentially infected animal, wash the affected area with soap and water for 15 minutes. Then, call your doctor or local health office.

5. Vaccinate your pets against rabies.

Don’t hesitate to educate your friends and family about rabies.

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