World Rabies Day is an annual observance that occurs on September 28 worldwide. It aims at raising awareness about the viral disease, rabies, and how to prevent it. World Rabies Day marks the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur, the man who developed the first rabies vaccine. He was a French chemist and microbiologist. Also Read - China's Biotech Firm Fined USD 1.3 Billion For Faulty Rabies Vaccines

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 1 lakh people died owing to rabies in the last five years in India. This number accounts for over 36 per cent of total deaths occurred worldwide due to the disease. You will be surprised to know that the total number of lives claimed by rabies in the last 5 years in more than the total deaths caused by COVID-19 till now (28-09-2020). Also Read - China launches nationwide action after faulty rabies vaccine

The data is concerning enough to start initiatives and campaigns to make people aware of the consequences of rabies and how to effectively keep it at bay. Also Read - KVs to impart lessons on dog bites, rabies prevention

Notably, the rabies virus is deadly and spreads to humans through the bite of an infected animal. The disease is characterised by symptoms including fever, vomiting, confusion, excessive salivation, nausea, headache, etc. These symptoms may last for days. Pets who are most likely to transmit the rabies virus to animals are cats, dogs, goats, horses, ferrets, and cows.

To reduce your risk of contracting the rabies virus, you need to vaccinate your pets. Also, keep your pets away from predators. It is significant to keep bats away from your home and always report stray animals to local authorities.