Why in news?
Recently, The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the National Rabies Control Programme (NRCP) for prevention and control of Rabies.
Objectives of NRCP:
- Provision of rabies vaccine & rabies immunoglobulin through national free drug initiatives
- Training on appropriate animal bite management, prevention and control of rabies, surveillance and intersectoral coordination
- Strengthening surveillance of animal bites and rabies deaths reporting
- Creating awareness about rabies prevention
- Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.
- The rabies virus infects the central nervous system of mammals, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.
- The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes, although any mammal can get rabies.
- Rabies virus belongs to the order Mononegavirales, viruses with a nonsegmented, negative-stranded RNA genomes.
- The rabies virus causes a rabies infection. The virus spreads through the saliva of infected animals. Infected animals can spread the virus by biting another animal or a person.
- In rare cases, rabies can be spread when infected saliva gets into an open wound or the mucous membranes, such as the mouth or eyes. This could happen if an infected animal licked an open cut on your skin.
- Animals that can transmit the rabies virus- Any mammal (an animal that suckles its young) can spread the rabies virus. The animals most likely to spread the rabies virus to people include:
- Pets and farm animals- Cats, Cows, Dogs, Ferrets, Goats, Horses,
- Wild animals- Bats, Beavers, Coyotes, Foxes, Monkeys, Raccoons, Skunks, Woodchucks
- In very rare cases, the virus has been spread to tissue and organ transplant recipients from an infected organ.
- India is endemic for rabies, and accounts for 36% of the world’s rabies deaths. True burden of rabies in India is not fully known; although as per available information, it causes 18 000-20 000 deaths every year.
- About 30-60% of reported rabies cases and deaths in India occur in children under the age of 15 years as bites that occur in children often go unrecognized and unreported.
- Rabies deaths in human are 100% preventable through prompt and appropriate medical care.Vaccinating dogs is the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people.