Dr. Emmanuel Kwao Pecku, Tema Metropolitan Veterinary Officer has disclosed that more than 59,000 people globally die from rabies yearly, “this means that every nine minutes somebody dies from rabies and these are even the reported cases”.
He said rabies was one of the oldest zoonotic diseases in the world caused by a virus that travels to the brain and settles on the salivary glands, where the activities of the virus are manifested.
Dr. Pecku stated at the weekly “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility,” a Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office initiative aimed at promoting communication on health-related and setting the medium for the propagation of health information to influence personal health choices by improving health literacy.
Dr Pecku said after being bitten, most people who become ill would show symptoms within three to five days, but this could range anywhere from one to 14 days, stressing that most Capnocytophaga infections usually occurred with dog or cat bites.
He said rabies could affect all mammals including humans, cats, monkeys, and bats, adding that the disease dominated in Africa and Asia.
He mentioned that symptoms included higher temperature which manifested in a form of headache, tiredness, burning sensation of the part bitten, hallucinations, and fear of light among others.
The Tema Metro Veterinary Officer advised that the first thing to do when bitten by a dog was to wash the bitten site with running water and soap to reduce the rate of the virus, “assuming a dog bites your neck, it’s very close to the brain and the virus can travel within one week to the brain”.
He explained that once clinical signs begin to show, there was nothing that could be done to prevent the disease stressing that people should report immediately to health facilities after a dog bite or scratch.