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World Rabies Day







Organisations around the world will be aiming to raise
awareness and understanding about the importance of rabies prevention on the
second annual World Rabies Day on September 28. FVE is supporting this
initiative. Although
experience has shown that rabies can be successfully eradicated if control
programmes are well defined, resourced and implemented, around 8000 cases are
still observed every year in Europe, of which
about 60% in wildlife, 40 % in domestic animals and even, regrettably, some in
humans.









FVE supports the World Rabies
Day campaign







The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) is supporting World
Rabies Day (WRD) initiative next September 28th, led by the Alliance for Rabies
Control (ARC) and sponsored by numerous
human and animal health organizations worldwide too.
Its aim is to raise
awareness and understanding about the importance of rabies prevention, which
kills 55,000 people each year, half of which are children under the age of 15
and mostly in Africa and Asia. Its principle
objectives are also to enhance education and resources in order to prevent and
stop the disease by combating it in animals.





During the successful inaugural World Rabies Day 2007, over seventy
countries participated through activities such as prevention messages for the
public, dog vaccination campaigns, lectures and educational seminars, press
conferences, museum and zoo exhibits, parades, festivals, marches, runs or dog
walks. This yearís campaigns shows promise for participation by a majority of
countries of the world, hosting similar activities all over the world as last
edition.



Multiple
events and initiatives around the globe will take place in order to raise
awareness of this dreaded disease and to make it history. As an example, the Alliance for Rabies Control together with the Pan American
Health Organization/ Veterinary Public Health/ PANAFTOSA, is hosting a
competition for the best rabies prevention and control event to commemorate
World Rabies Day in Latin America and the Caribbean
awarded with a 1,000 US dollars prize to be spent on materials in next year
WRD.



Veterinary student associations, World Health Organization (WHO), Pan
American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Organization for Animal Health
(OIE), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), universities,
professional associations and also community groups at the local level
throughout the world are among the initiative partners.





Awareness as the best defence: rabies is easily
preventable





Rabies is a viral disease that can be
transmitted to animals and humans. The
disease is transmitted mainly by bite, but exposure may also occur through
contamination of broken skin or mucous membranes with saliva from an
infected animal. Once neurological symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is
fatal to both animals and humans.
Nevertheless, rabies is easily preventable. Therefore, vaccination prior to possible
exposure is a crucial part of health management of domestic animals.





Rabies prevention starts with the animal
owner who is responsible for his own protection as well as his petís protection
and his communityís by having their animals been vaccinated. Prompt and
appropriate treatment after being bitten and before the disease develops can
stop rabies infection and/or prevent the disease in humans and animals.





FVE is a member of the World Rabies
Alliance. This European organization would like to call up all stakeholders to
join World Rabies Day 2008.