Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 37

37

Stop Giving Fido a
Suspicious Look-Bats Are
the Real Rabies Culprit
THE IMAGE OF A RABID DOG
foaming at the mouth is
an enduring and terrifying
one-think Stephen King's
Cujo. But it turns out the
animals to fear are bats.
The winged mammals are
the leading cause of rabies
deaths among people in the
U.S., accounting for about
7 in 10 deaths, according to a report from the
Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention.
It used to be true that
dogs posed the most
danger. Before mass pet

vaccination programs
began in the 1950s, most
human cases of rabies
were from dog bites. In
1938, domestic animals
accounted for 99.5 percent
of cases of reported rabid
animals, while wild animals
accounted for only 0.5 percent. By 2017, the ratio had
more or less flipped.
Dogs still pose a danger,
but not in the U.S.: Rabid
dogs encountered during
international travel are the
second-leading cause of
rabies deaths in Americans.

The CDC advises
people to leave all wildlife
alone. At home, make sure
your pets are vaccinated.
If you are bitten or scratched
by a wild animal, contact
a healthcare provider about
post-exposure prophylaxis,
a treatment that can include
rabies vaccine and medication
to fight infection.
ACT ON IT

PHOTOS BY GETTY IMAGES

Domestic
animal bites
account for
just 9% of
rabies cases
in the U.S.

VIM & VIGOR SPRING 2020



Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA

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Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 2
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