Transmitted from animals to man, zoonosis attacks the central nervous system of mammals and is almost always fatal
On 28 September, World Rabies Day is celebrated. Transmitted from animals to man, the infectious disease, although almost eradicated today, still worries about having a very high lethality rate – which reaches approximately 100% in humans, according to information from the Ministry of Health. Zoonosis is caused by the Lyssavirus virus, of the family Rhabdoviridae, and affects the central nervous system of mammals, after contact with the saliva of wild animals, such as bats, skunks and monkeys, which accidentally contaminate dogs, cats and humans.
According to the coordinator of the Veterinary Medicine course at Anhanguera de Dourados, Mariana Belloni, the chances of contamination occur mainly through biting, but can also happen in the event of scratching, licking or contact of the sick animal’s saliva with a wound. “People and animals exposed to the saliva of bats, dogs, cats or foxes must be under observation, because if they present the signs, the diagnosis is more accurate”, he warns.
The veterinarian explains that the time between infection and the onset of the disease varies widely, with the virus being able to remain in incubation in the body for one to three months, depending on the location, extent and depth of contact. “The signs of contamination are: pain in the throat, excessive drooling, seizures, pain at the bite site, fever, muscle tremors, agitation and photophobia (sensitivity to light). After the appearance of symptoms, the period of evolution of the clinical picture, in general, is from two to seven days ”, he adds.
In case of exposure or bite in humans, Larissa advises that the wound should be cleaned with soap and water, before any other measure. Then, seek immediate medical attention to get the vaccine, which is available both in the public system and in private clinics.
The most effective way to prevent disease in animals is the rabies vaccine, which should be applied once a year. “It is necessary for pets to receive the appropriate immunizations and undergo routine consultations at the veterinarian. In addition, it is also recommended to keep dogs and cats indoors, without free access to the streets, and to prevent the entry of bats and other wild animals in houses and rural properties ”, guides the teacher at Anhanguera.
“Animals such as dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, cattle, goats and other species intended for production must be vaccinated. But care must also be extended to humans who work in risky places – veterinary clinics, for example -, who must also receive the vaccine ”, he concludes.
Founded in 1994, Anhanguera has already transformed the lives of more than one million students, offering quality education and content compatible with the job market in its undergraduate, graduate and extension courses, in person or at a distance. Present in all Brazilian states, Anhanguera provides innumerable free services to the population through School Clinics in the area of Health and Legal Practice Centers, places where academics develop practical studies. Focused on the excellence of the integration between teaching, research and extension, Anhanguera offers quality training and has in its DNA the concern to share knowledge with society also through projects and social actions. In 2014, the institution joined Kroton. For more information access: http://www.anhanguera.com .
Kroton, which is part of the holding company Cogna Educação, a Brazilian company and one of the main educational organizations in the world, serves the B2C market in Higher Education, providing quality education on a large scale. Present in more than 900 municipalities throughout Brazil, the company has 176 own units, 1,410 distance learning centers and more than 844 thousand students, under the brands Anhanguera, Fama, Pitágoras, Unic, Uniderp, Unime and Unopar. Transforming people’s lives through education, training citizens and preparing professionals for the market, is the mission of the institution, which works to continue making dreams come true in all corners of the country. For more information access: http://www.kroton.com.br