In the build up to World Rabies Day on 28 September, MSD Animal Health has launched its far-reaching #Rabies360Challenge which aims to drive rabies awareness and achieve the global goal of zero human dog-mediated rabies deaths by 2030.
“Every year, tens of thousands of people die unnecessarily because of rabies, which is a vaccine-preventable death,” explained Carolyn Chelchinskey, Business Unit Manager at MSD Animal Health South Africa, makers of Bravecto® and Novibac®. “With the global focus on the pandemic currently, we want to ensure that rabies awareness receives worthwhile attention this World Rabies Day through the #Rabies360Challenge in an effort to finally eradicate this disease.”
She said that, just recently, a rabies outbreak in Joburg’s West Rand had resulted in three people being bitten, with more cases reported in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal: “All these devastating incidents can so easily be prevented by vaccinating pets and understanding the warning signs to look out for in rabid animals. We hope this can be achieved through the #Rabies360Challenge.”
Fast facts about rabies
There is a great need to spread awareness about rabies prevention to protect the lives of thousands of humans and animals across the globe. Here is a look at some of the reasons why the #Rabies360Challenge seeks to make a difference in 2021:
- Rabies is a deadly disease transmitted in saliva, with almost 100 % of human deaths the result of dog bites.
- Rabies has one of the world’s highest mortality rates of any disease – it’s 100 % fatal once symptoms occur.
- Almost 60 000 people die of rabies every year – that’s 1 person dying every 9 minutes.
- Children account for almost half of all rabies deaths in humans.
- Rabies is prevalent in poorer countries, particularly on the African and Asian continents in far-reaching, rural areas.
- Signs of a rabid dog include changes in its normal behaviour which may include aggressive (70 %) or
- subdued (30 %) behaviour.
- There are 900 million dogs worldwide, most of which are stray animals and at a higher risk of contracting rabies.
- Vaccinating dogs every one to three years against rabies will prevent the spread. Once 70 % of dog populations are protected, human deaths can be prevented.
- Anyone who is bitten by a suspected rabid animal must wash the wound for at least 10 minutes with running water and seek immediate medical attention from a healthcare professional. They will be treated with the administration of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) over a series of days following exposure.
- Many animal shelters and vet practices conduct vaccination drives during September in support of rabies prevention.
What is #Rabies360Challenge all about?
The #Rabies360Challenge, which runs throughout September, encourages participants to bring ‘360’ to life in whatever way they choose. This could be walking 360 shelter dogs, spending 360 minutes meditating, donating 360 meals or walking 360km on the beach – the options are endless! Once participants have pledged 360, they are contributing to raising awareness about rabies while also standing a chance to win a share of ‘furtastic’ prizes including a R3000 travel voucher.
Why ‘360’? One unified effort around the Globe to end Rabies by 2030!
How do you enter the #Rabies360Challenge?
To join this global movement and help save lives, here’s what you need to do:
1. Choose your 360 pledge.
2. Share your pledge on the #Rabies360Challenge Facebook Group or Instagram using the hashtag #Rabies360Challenge or #360ChallengeZA.
3. Commit to your 360 challenge throughout the month of September and share your progress on social media using the hashtag #Rabies360Challenge or #360ChallengeZA.
4. Inspire and be inspired by searching the hashtag #Rabies360Challenge and seeing what others are doing to help raise awareness.
5. Use the posts on Bravecto® SA’s Facebook page or the post by Bravecto® South Africa on the #Rabies360Challenge to spread the news on social channels! You can easily access the graphics in our Knowledge Hub, available in various formats for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Stories!
For more information about the#Rabies360Challenge, visit https://www.emergence-msd-animal-health.com/event/raising-awareness-around-the-globe-with-rabies360challenge/
*Disclaimer: Participation is entirely voluntary and at the participant’s own risk. MSD Animal Health accepts no liability. Your participation may result in your #Rabies360Challenge posts, including photos and videos, being shared through emergence channels (website and social media).