Number of rabies deaths in the US is the highest in 10 years

US health officials are particularly concerned about the sudden occurrence of cases of rabies in humans. At least three people died from the disease within five weeks, among the victims is a child.

The cases took place in three different states, Idaho, Illinois and Texas , and all of them had contact with bats that were contaminated with the rabies virus. The attacks took place between the months of September and November 2021, in all, five people died of rabies in the US last year.

deadliest virus

The rabies virus is considered the deadliest for humans, with a fatality rate close to 100%. For comparison purposes, Covid-19 's fatality rate is 2.9%. However, this high level of mortality substantially reduces the transmissibility of the virus.

According to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ), of the five human rabies victims who died in 2021, none received adequate treatment. The recommended care involves a quick medical evaluation and application of the rabies vaccine.

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With the five deaths, 2021 was the year with the most rabies victims in the US since 2011, according to CDC data. In the years 2019 and 2020, for example, no cases of the disease in humans were registered. This low number of cases can hinder access to information about what to do when exposed to the virus.

What to do?

Vaccination of pets is the most effective method of preventing the spread of rabies. Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock

As in the USA, contact with bats is quite rare and the number of animals diagnosed with rabies has remained more or less the same for several years. In addition, domestic animals , which can be vectors of the disease, must be vaccinated annually.

However, the recommendation for when you are attacked by an animal, especially if it is unknown, is to look for a health professional as soon as possible to receive proper care. Also, if possible, observe the animal responsible for the attack for at least ten days.

Via: USA Today

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