Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will on Friday, September 28, 2018, Celebrate World Rabies Day in Monrovia.
Speaking as a studio guest on the State Radio station, ELBC’s Early Morning Show yesterday, Mr. Carso Kollie of the Ministry of Health said the official program will be held at the D. Tweh High School in New Kru Town on Bushrod Island, outside Monrovia.
He said there will also be vaccination of animals on that same day at various designated areas in and out of Monrovia.
Mr. Kollie named some of the designated places as Du-port Health Center, D. Tweh High School campus, the compound of the National Transit Authority (NTA) and the Unification city Town Hall in lower Margibi County.
Mr. Kollie said rabies is a virus which is transmitted through saliva or brain nervous system tissues and that one can only get rabies by coming in contact with these specific bodily excretions and tissues.
The health specialist said it is very important to remember that Rabies is a Medical urgency but not an emergency.
“One of the most effective ways to decrease the chance for infection is to wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. See your doctor for attention for any trauma due to an animal attack before considering the need for rabies vaccination,” he pointed out during the radio talk show.
He said all species of mammals are susceptible to rabies virus infection, but only a few species serve as reservoirs for the virus.
He explains that there is a possibility of human contracting the virus through the eating of dog meats. “Let us stop eating Dogs,” he cautioned.
For his part, Mr. Eddie Fangalo, a health advocate and researcher said the issue of Rabies is a national concern that needs to be taken very seriously in Liberia.
Mr. Fangalo said the first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flus including general weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache.
He said the symptoms may last for days before one can discover that he or she has the virus.
The person may experience delirium, abnormal behaviors, hallucinations, and insomnia.
Fangalo added that the acute period of the disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days.
Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive.
Prevention of the disease includes administration of both passive antibody through an injection of human immune globulin and a round of injections with rabies vaccine.
The nature of rabies disease dictates that laboratory tests be standardized, rapid, sensitive, specific, economical, and reliable.
He called on all those who own dogs to take advantage of the vaccine process that will be conducted on Friday.
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