Rabies is lately back in several areas of Greece inland, During the recent months mupltiple cases have occured and are laboratory confirmed in the species of red fox, canine and cat.
During the period between Autumn 2012 and the first 3 months of 2013 twenty one (21) cases positive to rabies disease have been identified at North and Central Greece areas , and more specifically at Kozani, Kastoria, Kilkis, Pella and Trikala
The Ministry of Health and the Greek Center for Disease Control have set under Urgent Surveillance the affected areas trying to address the problem to the local and travellers' population and coordinate the awareness throughout the Departments of Health, Hospitals and Veterinary Services .
When traveling, it is always prudent to avoid approaching any wild or domestic animal
Unlike programs in developed countries, dog rabies vaccination programs in developing countries have not always been successful. Rates of postexposure prophylaxis in some developing countries are about 10 times higher than in the United States, and rates of human rabies are sometimes 100 times higher.
Before traveling abroad, consult your doctor, a travel clinic, or your local or state health department about your risk of exposure to rabies and how to handle an exposure should it arise.
If traveling to a country where there is an increased incidence in rabies, especially in canine populations, rabies pre-exposure vaccination may be recommended.
Rabies vaccination should also be considered if you will be spending lots of time outdoors in rural areas or plan to handle animals.
Go to cdc.gov the travel health section for more information.).
Rabies is a lethal human disease. However, modern medicine can provide all the necessary means of curing a patient.
If humans are exposed to the virus, a vaccine needs to be administered to prevent the manifestation of clinical symptoms.
Preventive vaccination is another way of protecting the human population from rabies infection. People working in animal laboratories, veterinaries, animal technologists, travelers in countries where rabies is endemic, and in general all personnel in contact with animals possibly infected with the virus, have to be administered three dosages of the vaccine at days 0, 7 and 21 or 28.
more on HCDCP E-Health bulletin
In a significant number of European countries rabies has been eradicated, with only isolated cases in imported pet animals as a result of a failure in animal border control.
In Greece, for 25 years there had been no cases of rabies in animals, until October 2012, when a rabid fox was detected in Western Macedonia. By 24 May 2013, 21 animal cases (18 red foxes, two sheepdogs and one cat) had been confirmed in the wider region of Western Macedonia, Central Macedonia and Thessaly
In 2000-2009, 13 imported and five indigenous cases were recorded. During the same period, in Russia and the Ukraine in total 57 people died from rabies, and all were considered to be indigenous cases.
Once clinical symptoms start to manifest in rabies, death is the certain outcome. So precaution is very important in order to avoid infection with the rabies virus.
more on the HCDCP E- BULLETING
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