Health officials have announced a three-month campaign to vaccinate 200,000 cats and dogs against rabies in 16 provinces around the DR. Community Health
Deputy Minister Nelson Rodriguez Monegro said that the program would cost RD$100 million, which also covers promotional and educational activities.
The deputy minister said that between 16,000 and 20,000 people are infected with rabies each year. Rodriguez encouraged pet-owners to take their animals to be vaccinated. The vaccinations will be free of charge.
The above article in DR-1 on 24 January 2008, raises serious concerns.
Either the improper diagnosis of rabies has been made by a lot of physicians, 16,000 to 20,000 people, or this same number of patients has received prophylaxis (Post-exposure Rabies Vaccine) without any complications or sequellae, which is unheard of.
Few health care professionals in the USA have ever seen a patient with rabies. It is not surprising, therefore, that rabies is sometimes not included in the differential diagnosis of encephalitis even when clinical signs or symptoms are suggestive.
The failure to consider rabies in the differential diagnosis of encephalitis is especially likely in the absence of a history of animal bite or bat exposure. In 8 of 38 human rabies cases reported in the US from 1960 to 1979 and in 12 of 32 cases reported from 1980 to 1996, the diagnosis of rabies was made only after death.
Rabies ( Latin: rabies, "madness, rage, fury"), a.k.a. hydrophobia is a viral zoonotic disease that causes acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in mammals. In non-vaccinated humans, rabies is almost invariably fatal after neurological symptoms have developed, but prompt post-exposure vaccination may prevent the virus from progressing.
Rabies in humans is a fatal illness characterized by severe encephalopathy and generalized paresis. When the disease is not treated, death typically occurs within five to seven days after the onset of symptoms. Medical management may prolong survival up to 133 days. There is scant evidence to indicate that any treatment alters median survival, although five people have survived after receiving immunoprophylaxis before the onset of symptoms.
There are only six known cases, in the entire world medical literature, of a person surviving symptomatic rabies, and only one known case of survival in which the patient received no rabies-specific treatment either before or after illness onset.
And the D.R. has 16,000 to 20,000 infected persons PER year! I don’t think so!