The Health Department of the Federal District confirmed this Tuesday (5) that a male patient aged 15 to 19 years was infected with human rabies. He is in serious condition and remains under observation by epidemiological surveillance. The last case of human rabies in the DF had been registered in 1978, that is, exactly 44 years ago.
The infection occurred in May, after the young man was scratched by a cat. According to the folder, the disease is characterized by neurological symptoms in animals and humans. The virus multiplies at the site of injury, migrates to the nervous system and, from there, to different organs, especially the salivary glands, being eliminated by saliva. The virus circulates in domestic environments, such as in dogs and cats; wild, as in foxes; aerial, as in bats; and in rural, as in horses and cows.
Because of this infection, the DF anticipated the rabies vaccination campaign in domestic animals, which was scheduled to begin only in August.
Places where people can take their animals for rabies vaccination can be accessed here. The Health Department also informed the list of hospitals where it is possible for the population to receive the vaccine and post-exposure anti-rabies serum.
The domestic animal must be vaccinated from three months and it is necessary that the immunization is reinforced annually. Currently, it is estimated that the population of dogs and cats in the entire Federal District is 345,033, of which 308,419 are dogs and 36,613 are cats. The expectation is to vaccinate at least 80% of the animal population.
The rabies virus is present in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted mainly through bites and scratches or through licking of mucous membranes and injured skin.
The deputy director of Environmental Surveillance, veterinarian Laurício Monteiro da Cruz, emphasizes the importance of cleaning the area that may have been contaminated. “Washing your hands with soap and water is an extraordinary measure that greatly reduces the possibility of spreading the virus”, he explains.
To prevent yourself, in addition to the vaccine, it is important to avoid touching or touching unfamiliar, unowned dogs and cats, especially when they are feeding, breeding or sleeping.
The specialist adds that, in case of suspected rabies, communication for monitoring and analysis is essential. Contact with the Environmental Health Surveillance Directorate can be by phone (61) 2017-1342 or by Dial Saúde – 160 or by email: [email protected]
care and treatment
In the event of a possible infection, the person should go to a health facility as soon as possible for the first care. “Who evaluates is the health professional, who is supported by a protocol that will verify if the animal has a history of vaccination, if it is aggressive, among other factors”, informs the director of Epidemiological Surveillance, Fabiano Martins.
The specialist explains that there are two possible treatment measures with human rabies prophylaxis: pre-exposure and post-exposure, after professional evaluation.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis should be indicated for people at risk of permanent exposure to the rabies virus, during occupational activities performed by professionals such as veterinarians. In the case of post-exposure, they must be evaluated according to the characteristics of the wound and the animal involved.
The folder provides more detailed information about the diseaseincluding the characteristics for each regimen, the list of vaccination rooms, services in which it is performed and the hospital units in which serum and human anti-rabies immunoglobulin are applied.
Source: BdF Distrito Federal
Editing: Flavia Quirino