By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Tunisia Health Ministry has reported five human rabies deaths as of mid-September this year. This is up from one case reported in 2020.

Public domain image/wikimedia commons

The ministry called on dog owners to partake in the annual vaccination campaign organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, and to vaccinate anyone who has been bitten, scratched or even licked on an open wound by an animal.

Open days to raise awareness among the public about the importance of vaccinating dogs will be held on September 24-25 in Bizerte.

Awareness campaigns will also be organized in schools, in partnership with the Tunisian Scouts, in addition to media awareness campaigns.

World Rabies Day 2021- Livestream event

Rabies is an acute viral infection that is transmitted to humans or other mammals usually through the saliva from a bite of an infected animal. It is also rarely contracted through breaks in the skin or contact with mucous membranes.

Initially, like in many diseases, the symptoms of rabies are non-specific; fever, headache and malaise. This may last several days. At the site of the bite there may be some pain and discomfort. Symptoms then progress to more severe: confusion, delirium, abnormal behavior and hallucinations. If it gets this far, the disease is nearly 100% fatal.

What if you’re exposed? Checkout the podcast Rabies: What should you do if you’re exposed?