Rabies Awareness & Prevention in China PDF Print E-mail


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Working Together to Make Rabies History!
International Center for Veterinary Services
Rabies Awareness & Prevention Information for the Community



World Rabies Day Mission
• To raise awareness about the impact of human and animal rabies
• To educate on how easy it is to prevent rabies and to help eliminate the main global
• Even though the major impact of rabies occurs in regions of the world where many
needs are present, including Asia, rabies should no longer be neglected

Did You Know...?
• Approximately 55,000 die worldwide from rabies each year!
• One person dies of rabies every ten minutes
• Most of these deaths occur in Asia and Africa
• Most important global source of rabies in humans is from uncontrolled rabies in dogs
• Children are at greatest risk: more likely to be bitten and less likely to inform adults of bites

What is Rabies?
• Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system
• The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted to people and animals by a bite from an
infected animal
• Rabies can also be transmitted when saliva from an infected animal comes in contact with open cuts, wounds or mucous membranes (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth)
• Once the outward signs of rabies appears, the disease is nearly always fatal

Rabies Prevention Starts with the Animal Owner
• More than 95% of rabies infections in humans in China is caused by dog bites
• In the PRC, annual rabies vaccinations for all dogs are required by law, but compliance is low
• Pet owners can reduce the possibility of pets being exposed to rabies by not letting them roam free
• Spaying or neutering your pet may reduce any tendency they might have to roam or fight and thus
reduce the chance that they will be exposed to rabies

Situation in USA:
• In the USA, 30,000-40,000 persons annually are potentially exposed to rabies requiring post-exposure treatment

• US CDC reports 1-3 cases of human rabies each year, with only one confirmed case of human rabies in 2007

• In the USA and most EU countries, more than 70% of companion animals are rabies vaccinated

• In the USA, primary route of rabies transmission is from wildlife to humans or animals
Sources: PRC Ministry of Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Situation in China:

• In 2006 alone, more than 140,000 people in Beijing sought medical treatment after being attacked by dogs or cats

• In China, 3,380 persons died of confirmed rabies in 2007

• Across China, less than 10% of dogs are rabies vaccinated with less than 3% of rural dogs vaccinated

• Across China, less than 1% of cats are rabies vaccinated

• In a rabies-epidemic region such as China, rabies in wildlife may result from spillover from dogs

Rabies is 100% Preventable

• Rabies vaccinate your pets annually at a legally designated animal vaccination hospital (Look for official bronze plaque with license number)

• Only legally registered and officially designated animal vaccinationhospitals are authorized to procure and administer vaccines and can issue the official Beijing Animal Health & Vaccination Immunity Certificates (vaccination red books)

• Vaccines are controlled drugs and can be sold to authorized animal hospitals only by the Agricultural Bureau

• Vaccines are imported, legally registered and quality assured by the government


• According to reports by the New China News Agency (XinHuaShe), in July 2007, a 22-year old local Chinese man was bitten by a dog in Chaoyang district, near the Shunyi border

• This man did not seek medical care and was not vaccinated against rabies. He died of confirmed rabies infection transmitted through the dog bite about two-months after the exposure

• The dog was owned by a local family but was unregistered so was officially classified as a “stray dog”

• This dog was likely not vaccinated or may have been vaccinated at an unauthorized pet shop or other facility. Unauthorized facilities cannot legally purchase vaccines and therefore procure them from unsecured illegal channels, increasing the likelihood of smuggled, expired or counterfeit vaccines being used on pets

What Can I do to Prevent Rabies?
• Consult with your doctor and consider the pre-exposure rabies vaccination, especially for children, even if you do not have pets
• The pre-exposure vaccination is a series of 3 regular injections given on days 0, 7 and 21 or 28
• If you are already rabies vaccinated and then have an exposure, you will only need an additional 2 rabies vaccinations (e.g., on day 0 and 3) as part of post-exposure prophylaxis
• Having the pre-exposure rabies vaccinations also means you will not need the human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) injection, which is expensive and in short supply worldwide
• Pre-exposure vaccinations are especially important for travelers andfor children. Children are most likely to engage in provocative behaviors with animals and unlikely to inform adults

What Should I do if I am Bitten?
• Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water for at least 5-minutes

• Seek timely medical care after an exposure and begin rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) immediately

• The PEP consists of 5 rabies vaccinations over 28-days (e.g., days 0, 3, 7, 14, and 28)

• If the animal is of uncertain vaccination history or if it is wildlife, the human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) is also given together on the first day of the rabies vaccination

• HRIG is expensive and in short supply worldwide. Travelers outside of major cities in the PRC may not find HRIG available when needed

• Having the pre-exposure rabies vaccinations means you do not need the HRIG after an exposure. Please talk to your doctor about pre-and post-exposure rabies vaccinations

Rabies Information & Prevention Resources
• Finding legally registered and officially designated animal vaccination hospitals in Beijing:
– Centers for Animal Disease Control (Chaoyang District): 5208-2655/2656 (Chinese only)

– International Center for Veterinary Services (ICVS): • 8456-1939/40 (Open 7-Days)
• (English and Chinese)
• World Rabies Day:
• US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


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