World Rabies Day
I would like to take a moment today to bring World Rabies Day to everyone’s awareness. While the severity of rabies in the United States has plummeted drastically since the turn of the century (about 90% of rabies cases occur in wildlife, and rabies prevention and treatment is so effective that only one or two fatalities have occurred per year since the 1990s), rabies is still a cause of around 1000 annual deaths worldwide.
The purpose of World Rabies Day is to raise awareness about this preventable disease. Through access to vaccination for pets, education about how to recognize symptoms, and access to timely treatment, we can work together to keep both our human and furry friends safe.
In 1954, Illinois experience a state-wide rabies epidemic that resulted in the Animal Control Act. This, in turn, inspired the creation of the Cook County Animal and Rabies Control program. This program is responsible for keeping our community safe from the spread of rabies from animal to human through vaccination, pet registration, education, legislation and surveillance. You can get your pet vaccinated at a private veterinarian, however there are many places in Chicago where you can find low-cost vaccinations for your pet. For example, if you schedule your pet to get spayed or neutered at The Anti-Cruelty Society you can also purchase a rabies vaccination to be administered at the time of their surgery. It’s important to remember that many cities have laws regarding rabies vaccinations and pets.
Remember to have fun, stay safe, and get your rabies vaccine!
(Image graphic courtesy of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control‘s custom rabies prevention poster-making website)