Mérida, Yucatán, (September 28, 2021).- Daly Gabino Martínez Ortiz, head of the Zoonosis Program of the Health Secretariat of the state of Yucatan, affirmed that 23 years have passed without a single case of human rabies transmitted by pets, establishing that the deadly pathology is present in wild species in the framework of the celebration of the Day World Against Rabies.
While dog attacks on people have an increase of more than 10 percent, even the State is among the 14 states with the highest incidence, notably surpassing Campeche and Quintana Roo.
In 1998, the last case of human rabies transmitted by a dog was registered. However, the recent events of human rabies arose in 2002, in Seyé, due to the transmission of a skunk that bit a minor, while in 2004, in Teya, the laboratory study carried out on a minor was found to be the problem was registered by an infected blood-sucking bat.
He commented that wild animals are the main spreaders of rabies in pets.
“Due to this problem, every year, all dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies,” he said, highlighting the increase in the culture of the population to immunize their pets.
He mentioned that canine rabies is transmitted through the saliva of a contaminated animal, hence the importance of taking precautionary measures before the possibility that a pet is infected.
Rabies in dogs and cats is transmitted mainly when they fight in the street, most of the time when the female is in heat, he said.
He warned that there are many dogs that roam the streets throughout the State, not counting the animals that have “a semi-calf life”, whose irresponsible owners do not bother to vaccinate them.
“There are several reasons why owners abandon their dogs, among them they stand out that they are no longer the family toy,” he stressed.
In addition, “many people think that having a pet is just feeding it, but the responsibility is greater because both the dog and the cat must be vaccinated and must constantly be taken to a veterinarian to avoid the spread of other diseases that can infect humans ”.
The disease is transmitted to people through bites, mainly, so that “the daily coexistence of domestic animals with the human population makes the latter a vulnerable group for the transmission of rabies in cities and urban areas.”
Although “rabies in a human being is one hundred percent preventable through prompt medical attention, once the symptoms have appeared there is no treatment.”
He warned owners that a dog should be suspected of having rabies when it bites for no reason, as well as when it shows changes in its habitual behavior, as well as not recognizing its master, and refusing to eat or hide.
When the animal is infected, it does not drink water, although “in some cases, they deceive us, since they move the water with their tongue but the volume where it is contained does not vary,” said the specialist.
He asked owners of dogs and cats, whose pets show any signs of rabies, to first keep them under surveillance for 10 days.
In Yucatán, a total of 1,677 dog attacks have been registered as vaccinated against rabies this year, which shows an increase of 10.8 percent compared to the previous year, when the sum was 1,514.