Campaigners urge the public to vaccinate pets to combat rabies as Mahidol University hosts events to celebrate
World Rabies Day 2011 at Mahidol Learning Center, Salaya on September 24, 2011.
This year’s celebration, organized under the theme
“Rabies, incurable but preventable; get your pets vaccinated against it,” aims to raise public awareness of health threats from this fatal disease.
The highlights include a discussion “Things to do to make it rabies free,”
an exhibition on rabies, basic pet check-up services and rabies vaccination for pets. The activities start at 10 am and are free. For further information, please call 0-2441-5245-6 or visit
A World Health Organization report in 2007 found more than 55,000 people worldwide died of rabies each year, said Assoc. Prof. Parntep Ratanakorn, dean of Faculty of Veterinary Science, Mahidol University.
Also known as hydrophobia, rabies is caused by rabies virus or rabies-related viruses that can infect the nervous system of all mammal species from humans, dogs, cats, rats, monkeys, gibbons, squirrels to bats, according to Assoc. Prof. Parntep.
Rabies is a virulent disease that has no cure yet. Once symptoms of the infection develop, rabies is always fatal. Except protecting oneself from being infected, vaccination of both human and animals is the best way to fight rabies, he said. Pets or animals other than dogs, if being mammals, should also be vaccinated as they can be infected with the virus.
Thailand has seen a decline in the incidence of rabies over the past three decades. In 1980 there were more than 370 rabies deaths, but from 2004 to 2009 the rate ranged from 8-26 rabies deaths a year. Still, it is important to keep surveillance on any close contact between humans and suspect animals. Thus WHO has been campaigning and set a goal to eliminate rabies by 2020.
Mahidol University and four other organization and agencies – Chulalongkorn University, Department of Livestock, Department of Disease Control and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration – have been collaborating in a program in which the responsibility of hosting rabies prevention events to celebrate World Rabies Day rotates among them.
Date : September 20, 2011