Rabies, which is prevalent the world over, is a killer for both animals and mankind, and the World health Organisation spends thousands of dollars every year trying to stamp out this particularly virulent disease.
Rabies, which is prevalent the world over, is a killer for both animals and mankind, and the World health Organisation spends thousands of dollars every year trying to stamp out this particularly virulent disease. A recent breakthrough has been made in West Germany, where scientists have developed a new vaccine, which, unlike previous medications, has no ill side-effects and is also suitable for preventive treatment.
SYNOPSIS: Previous vaccines were derives from the tissues of animals suffering from the disease. But the new vaccine being developed by West German research scientists is taken from the tissue membranes of infected human beings. The scientists claim that the new vaccine-simply called Rabies HDC Vaccine-is manufactured in a new and especially clean way. And this gives it special properties making it suitable for preventing people from contracting the disease.
The new vaccine produces six times as many anti-bodies as its predecessors, and is more easily administered. Patients now receives only six injections to cure them if they have contracted the disease. And three injections are required for the preventive treatment. Before, a course of 17 injections was considered necessary.
But despite thais medical breakthrough, Rabies remains one of the most contagious animal diseases. The virus, prevalent among wild animals is easily passed to farm animals and pets and onto human beings, by bites. The World Health Organisation estimates that 1.5 million people must be vaccinated against the disease every year. And in many countries the areas of high contamination risk are clearly demarcated in order to warn hikers, campers and forestry workers of the dangers.
Contaminated animals die a gruesome death. As in the case of human beings the virus attacks the nervous system causing cramps, paralysis and a slow death.
The fox is considered to be the most dangerous carrier. Because it lives in a wild state it is difficult to track down and is capable to contaminating previously uninfected areas. Attempts to decimated its population have largely been in vain. Where a den is discovered, the fox is normally killed with the aid of gas guns. Though the end result may be considered inhumane, it is the only method of preventing death on a large scale.