What Can People Do To Protect Themselves Against Rabies

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 What Can People Do Protect Themselves Against Rabies

Any warm-blooded animal can transmit rabies, but humans are usually infected by dogs. Rabies can be fatal if symptoms are not known, but it can also be easily prevented if proper measures are taken. Vaccination and proper management of stray dogs and cats have eradicated rabies in most countries.

METHOD 1: Avoid rabies in humans and pets

Get your pets vaccinated.

Pets are the most common way to get rabies. Vaccinating your dogs, cats, and ferrets is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your four legs. Take your pets to the veterinarian and get them vaccinated right away.

Keep an eye on your pets when they are outside.

 Don't let them approach wild animals. Mammals such as squirrels, raccoons, weasels, and bats can carry rabies and transmit it to dogs, cats, and ferrets by biting them. Keep your pets on a leash or behind a pen to prevent this.

  • This is why veterinary health authorities recommend keeping cats and ferrets in your home or within your property limits at all times.
  • Check with the appropriate authorities beforehand to find out if there are cases of rabies in your area if you want to let your dog run in a natural area.

Reduce the stray animal population in your neighborhood. 

Call the SPA in your township to recover stray animals. Get your pets neutered or spayed. This can reduce the number of unwanted animals that may not be vaccinated.

  • Make sure your children know not to touch any stray animal, whether wild or domestic.

Don't worry about wild animals.

 Don't touch, feed, or attract wildlife to your home. Don't adopt a wild animal. You will be more likely to get rabies if you and your pets live with wild animals.

  • Do not come into contact with wild animals when traveling, especially dogs in developing countries.
  • Do not seek treatment for a sick or injured wild animal. Call the SPCA or a veterinarian.
  • Take steps to prevent bats from entering living areas such as homes, schools, or workplaces where they might come into contact with humans or pets.

Be vigilant when you are abroad. 

Rabies is still endemic in some countries. Check with your doctor, health organization, or local health insurance office before you go abroad. Ask what the risks of rabies are, what you need to do to protect yourself, or if you are bitten and infected with the virus.

METHOD  2: Manage possible contamination

Get a health professional check-up immediately if you are bitten.

 Contact a doctor immediately if you have been bitten by a wild animal or any animal that could be a carrier of the disease. Take him to the vet right away if your pet has been bitten. You will give the virus time to spread if you wait even for a day.

In the meantime, treat the bite. 

If you cannot get medical help for several hours, you must take steps to clean the wound.

  • Wash the bite with soap and water. According to the World Health Organization, the most effective protective mechanism is to wash the area affected by rabies contamination with detergent.
  • Put ethanol or iodine solution on the wound. These antiseptics work by killing sensitive bacteria.

Go to the hospital and get vaccinated.

If you have never been vaccinated against rabies, the doctor will give you an immunizing product, which helps prevent the rabies virus from spreading from the bite. In any case, you will need to be given booster shots.

  • A person with rabies who has never been vaccinated should receive a vaccine containing four times the usual immunizing dose, with booster shots on days three, seven, and fourteen. You may also be given another broader-spectrum immunizer with your first vaccine.
  • You will receive an injection of twice the usual dose if you have already been vaccinated and a booster shot three days later.


  • See a veterinarian immediately in case your pet has been bitten by a wild animal.
  • Rabies is quite common in some developing countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. Dogs are the most common carriers of rabies in these countries. Raccoons are the most common carriers of rabies in North America.
  • Do not assume that you are protected if you have been bitten by a pet. The owner of that animal may not be up-to-date with the vaccination records of all four legs.
  • Stay away from stray animals. They may not be vaccinated and may carry the rabies virus.
  • "Take care of your pets and leave others alone" is a good principle to teach children.
  • Cases of rabies are extremely rare in France, but you can go to Hawaii, the only American state totally free of rabies, if you absolutely want to avoid it.


  • Children should always tell their parents if they have been bitten.
  • Rabies is extremely dangerous to humans and can be fatal if not treated in time.

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