From the Harford County Health Department:
For the seventh consecutive year, The Harford County Health Department will be partnering with Global Alliance for Rabies Control, and 4 Paws Spa and Training Center, Inc. to recognize the importance of World Rabies Day and by offering a very low cost rabies vaccination clinic.
Although World Rabies Day is formally recognized on September 28th, the Harford County Health Department is conducting the clinic on Saturday, September 27th from 1:00-4:00 pm to provide greater public accessibility to the event. The event will take place at the 4 Paws Spa and Training Center facility located at 121 A Industry Lane in the Forest Hill. Upon entering the airpark, signs will direct the public to the clinic.
“We are delighted that this important partnership with the Health Department has been maintained and the low cost rabies vaccinations can be provided”, says Robin Greenwood, owner, 4 Paws Spa and Training, Inc. Veterinarians at the Health Department-sponsored clinic will vaccinate dogs, cats, and ferrets for the very low cost of $5.00 per animal. Dog, cat, and ferret owners who wish to protect their pets from this dreaded disease are invited to participate and take advantage of this service. In addition to the vaccinations, information will be available, as well as $3.00 off on “wash and dry” self-service for pet owners through 4 Paws Spa and Training Center, Inc.
Health Officer, Susan Kelly reminds the public that Maryland law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets are vaccinated against rabies, and further stresses the importance to pet owners of protecting their pets against this deadly viral disease. States Ms. Kelly, “We cannot afford to let our guard down since the rabies virus is ever-present in wildlife, which can expose our pets and possibly our family members. Having a current rabies vaccination can eliminate the need for your pet to be euthanized or endure a very difficult six month isolation period should it have contact with known rabies vectors like raccoons, foxes, and bats.”
The impact of rabies on public health is prevalent:
– 55,000 deaths annually occur worldwide, equaling approximately one person every ten minutes.
– Approximately 7,000 cases of animal rabies are reported annually in the U.S. These animals, mostly wildlife, can expose humans or pets to rabies.
– 1-3 cases of human rabies are reported in the U.S. per year.
– Every year, an estimated 30,000-40,000 U.S. residents are potentially exposed to rabies, requiring costly and uncomfortable human rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. Post exposure treatment requires administration of Human Rabies Immune Globulin (HRIG) and four vaccinations over the course of two weeks, costs of which might not be covered by health insurance.
– Early in 2013, a Maryland man became the state’s first fatal case of rabies in nearly 40 years, having contracted the infection from a kidney transplant.
– Prior to this, the last reported case of human rabies in Maryland was in 1976 as the result of an exposure to an infected bat.
Locally, between January 1st and September 1st of this year, the Health Department has identified 13 rabies positive animals, including 9 raccoons 3 foxes, and 1 bat.
In addition to the low cost rabies vaccination the Health Department will be offering important public health information that includes Lyme disease awareness, and Emergency Preparedness and Planning for pet owners. Stop by and enter a drawing to win a free bottle of Permethrin which can be used to help protect from Lyme disease.
For more information about this event or this topic, visit www.harfordcountyhealth.com or contact the Harford County Health Department, Rabies and Vector Control Program at 410-877-2315. Other online informational resources include: www.harfordcountyhealth.com/rabies,
www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/Epidemiology/Epidemiology.htm#Wild%20Animals and www.worldrabiesday.org.