In news- On the occasion of World Rabies Day, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya launched the National Action Plan for Dog Mediated Rabies Elimination by 2030 (NAPRE).
- He urged all the States and Union Territories (UTs) to make Rabies a notifiable disease.
- The “Joint Inter-Ministerial Declaration Support Statement” for Elimination of Dog mediated Rabies from India by 2030 through One Health Approach was also launched.
- The Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying suggested undertaking extensive IEC to make people aware of the difference between vaccine and medicine of Rabies.
- Rabies is a vaccine-preventable, zoonotic, viral disease.
- It is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) that predominantly affects poor and vulnerable populations who live in remote rural locations.
- It is present on all continents, except Antarctica, with over 95% of human deaths occurring in the Asia and Africa regions.
- Initial symptoms of rabies include a fever with pain and unusual or unexplained tingling, pricking, or burning sensation (paraesthesia) at the wound site.
- As the virus spreads to the central nervous system, progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord develops.
- Transmission can also occur if saliva of infected animals comes into direct contact with human mucosa or fresh skin wounds.
- It is spread to people and animals through bites or scratches, usually via saliva.
- Once clinical symptoms appear, rabies is virtually 100% fatal.
- In up to 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans.
- Rabies can affect both domestic and wild animals.
- Interrupting transmission is feasible through vaccination of dogs and prevention of dog bites.
- 40% of people bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age.
- Immediate, thorough wound washing with soap and water after contact with a suspect rabid animal is crucial and can save lives.
WHO leads the collective “United Against Rabies” to drive progress towards “Zero human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030”.