In Ukraine, about half a million human bites are recorded in wild or domestic animals a year. Each bite is a potential risk of infection with a rabies virus, which, without immediate treatment, leads to a fatal outcome.
On July 6, 1885, the rabies vaccine, created by Louis Pasteur, was successfully used for the first time. And to this day, emergency vaccination after a bite is the only way to save from rabies.
On a dangerous infection and preventive measures read in an interview with the head of the Federal Center for Fighting Tales, Doctor of Medical Sciences Artem Movsesyants.
- It is believed that summer is the most dangerous time of year in terms of the risk of being infected with rabies. Is it so?
- Earlier, in the spring-summer period there were flashes. But in recent years we have not talked about seasonal rage. The dynamics is observed year-round. The reason for this is the growing number of neglected animals within the city, primarily dogs, and a high population of wildlife in suburban areas. And the problem is equally acute for all Ukrainian regions.
- What statistics?
- According to official statistics, on average in Ukraine 470-500 thousand people are exposed to bites of wild or domestic animals per year. More than half of them undergo a course of anti-rabies vaccinations. In Moscow, annually about 30 thousand cases of vaccination against rabies are observed. The average death rate is 15-20 people a year.
- What animals are considered the most dangerous in terms of the spread of rabies?
- The main source of rabies spread in Ukraine, and throughout the world, is foxes. In recent years, the proportion of raccoon dog, wolf has increased very much. There are cases of infection from hedgehogs, protein, badger, martens, ferrets and other, non-traditional in terms of spreading rabies, animals. 60 years old there were no rabies of wild boar - we recently registered such a case. In general, we can say that all warm-blooded animals that inhabit the territory of Ukraine can potentially be carriers of infection.
- What to fear and avoid in the first place, so as not to be at risk?
- Cities need to be careful with careless animals. It is not necessary to contact with stray dogs and cats - the probability that they are infected is quite large. And cases when a person decided to feed a vagrant or provoked a dog, as a result of which received bites, a lot.
Beyond the city, you also need to be vigilant. Wild animals are very careful. They tend to try to avoid a person. Therefore, if a fox came to the territory of a country village, it is a dangerous sign that the animal may be ill. You do not need to catch a beast or try to bite it. On the contrary, you need to try to avoid contact. After all, the bite of a wild animal can infect a person, and if not take measures as soon as possible (which may be difficult far from the city), the situation may be irreversible.
- What should I do if the bite has already happened?
- The first thing to do is to thoroughly rinse the bite with soapy water and immediately go to the emergency room where the specialists will provide help.
Any bite is dangerous in terms of contamination with a rabies. Therefore, a person who has been subjected to such unpleasant contact with an animal should contact a doctor. Of course, not every case requires vaccination. For example, a dog can be bitten, the aggressive reaction of which provoked. The dog lives at home, she has been vaccinated, has not been in contact with other animals - in this case, the doctor will most likely confine himself to antiseptic treatment of the wound and will not resort to an anti-rabies vaccine. But if we are dealing with a bite of a wild or careless animal, then unequivocally required vaccination.
- Notorious 40 injections in the stomach?
- No 40 injections already in the distant past. Such vaccination was carried out until 1980. She was very heavy, with a lot of side effects. A new type of concentrated vaccine has now been developed - only 6 injections at intervals should be made.
- How does the rabies virus work on the human body?
- Legacy is a neurotropic virus. It stays in the brain, in the central nervous system, there multiplies and develops very rapidly. Without a quick hospitalization, the infected person dies.
- What are the symptoms? How is the disease going?
- At the first stage there are predictors: the infected person sharply closes, falls into depression, is covered by sudden anxiety or fear. In the place of the bite there are paresthesias, redness. After 2-3 days, two major symptoms are manifested: abundant salivation and hydrophobia, when a person wants to drink, but with the appearance of water, or simply at the gurgle, he begins painful seizures, hysterics. What is characteristic, it occurs on the background of clear consciousness. Then these attacks begin to become more frequent, and the person dies. On average, 6-8 days pass from the virus to the fatal outcome.
- At what stage is it possible to save a person?
- Unfortunately, in the arsenal of modern world medicine there are no funds that could save a person in the clinical stage of the disease. Forerunners - this is already the beginning of the disease, already at this initial stage, a man is doomed and medicine is powerless. 100% lethality Therefore, if a person was in contact with wild animals, was bitten, then you should immediately seek medical attention and undergo a course of anti-rabies vaccination - only then there is a chance to save a person.
- How can I control the growth of a population of animals that are dangerous in terms of rage?
- To do this, it is necessary to unite the forces of housing and communal services, which must take over the regulation of the population of neglected dogs and cats in the cities; Veterinary services that carry out vaccination of domestic animals and immunization of wild animals; And health systems. Without the qualitative interaction of these three departments, it is very difficult to establish a procedure. At the moment, the mechanism of cooperation is not well established.
Unfortunately, our country does not attach enough importance to this problem. We have poor sanitary propaganda. From here, we are faced with the fact that people underestimate the risk. Do not vaccinate their pupils, despite the fact that this is a completely free procedure, do not seek medical assistance.
I can cite an example of a recent incident: the driver shot down a fox and brought her home, and at home the animal ate a woman. They did not apply to the medical institution. The man died. This happened due to the lack of knowledge of the basic safety rules.
- How do you fight rabies in other countries?
- According to WHO, last year over $ 1 billion was spent on fighting rabies. In most Western countries there are national anti-rabies programs. In the island states, strict import quarantine has been introduced. For example, in Japan quarantine is 180 days. European states have achieved a good stable situation. There, in addition to sanitary norms, a well-established system for regulating populations with the help of hunting facilities - the yager on every part of the forest knows every fox hole.
In European countries, in the United States, it's almost impossible to see a stray dog on the street - there veterinary services carry a general record, there are numerous volunteer organizations that search for pet owners, etc. Our country is far from reaching such an understanding of the importance of the problem. A very difficult situation in the countries of Southeast Asia. Annually, from rabies in the world dies about 55 thousand men
- How does your center affect the development of the situation?
- At this stage, our main work is educational activities. We provide advisory and methodological assistance to health authorities: we regularly conduct seminars with surgeons, traumatologists, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists in different regions of the country.
Soon we will receive a license for conducting laboratory tests to diagnose human immunity to a rabies virus. This will determine the types of virus-neutralizing bodies in the blood of a person who undergoes the course of vaccinations, and promptly make adjustments, in the event that any violation in the treatment is observed. We hope that we will soon be able to set up mechanisms for the interaction of all interested departments and to change the situation.
In conclusion, I would like to turn to VitaPortal readers with a convincing request: do not test fate. If a dangerous situation arose, you were bitten by a pet (even familiar to you), or even more so if the defeat comes from a wild beast, without losing time, contact the traumatological point and complete the survey.