The federal government has called on dog owners to vaccinate their pets against rabies every year, as part of the efforts to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
Rabies, which is a deadly viral disease, can be transmitted to humans through infected dog bites. It can cause severe symptoms such as fever, headache, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, paralysis and even death.
Although there’s no cure for rabies once symptoms appear, it can be prevented by vaccinating animals and humans.
At a roadshow in Abuja to create awareness of the disease, Dr Samuel Anzaku, the director of veterinary public health, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, urged residents to adopt preventative measures against rabies through annual human and dog vaccination.
The sensitisation programme is part of activities lined up for this year’s World Rabies Day on September 28 under One Health Approach with the theme, “All for 1, One Health For All”.
“We are here on a road walk to sensitise people that they need to take preventive measures, one for them to vaccinate their dogs annually at veterinary clinics or hospitals. Secondly, to report any case of dog bite in any community, to the appropriate veterinary clinic.
"If you don’t do this, once a human has a dog bite from an infected dog, and there’s no treatment, 100 per cent you are sure the person is going to die if clinical signs have started showing up.
"So we are here to tell Nigerians that rabies is a disease that is very deadly”, he said.