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(Health) Rabies: Anti-rabies Campaign Ongoing

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:46 am    Post subject: (Health) Rabies: Anti-rabies Campaign Ongoing Reply with quote

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
SunStar, Iloilo
Anti-rabies campaign ongoing
Adora Bandorio/PIO

THE City Government will be observing the rabies awareness month this March with an intensified anti-rabies inoculation campaign in the city's various districts.

City veterinarian Tomas Forteza Jr. said the activities to be pursued during the intensified campaign include anti-rabies vaccination of dogs, castration and spaying, and pet registration.

Forteza said they have lined up vaccination schedules in every district, which kicked off last March 4th at the Arevelo district where a veterinarian team inoculated 176 dogs.

Last March 11, a team swooped on La Paz district and vaccinated some 800 canines. All the vaccinations were free.

The other district inoculation runs scheduled include Mandurriao on March 18, Molo district on March 22, Jaro district on March 25, with a culminating activity on March 27 at Plaza Libertad for the City Proper area. The inoculations are conducted at the various district public plazas.

Forteza said the large-scale vaccination campaign was made possible by vaccines supplied by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health.

Additional manpower requirements of the campaign were likewise provided by participating non-government organizations like the Rotary Club of Jaro-North.

He said inoculation efforts were first launched in 2004 by Mayor Jerry P. TreŮas in order to address the whopping increase in rabies cases in 2003.

Forteza said the current campaign hopes to vaccinate at least half of the estimated population of 29,528 dogs in the city.

Of late, Forteza's office has recorded a total of nine cases of rabies city wide with the districts of Arevalo, Molo and Mandurriao having a solitary case each, and the districts of Jaro, La Paz and City Proper having two cases each. No rabies fatality has been reported so far this year.

Rabies is a dangerous disease of animals transmissible to humans through bites of infected animals.

It is caused by a virus of the rhadoviridae family, which attacks the central nervous system. The virus if usually excreted in the saliva of an infected animal.

When infected with the disease, early signs of rabies included fever, headache, sore throat, and feeling of tiredness.

As the virus gets to the brain, the person may act nervous, confused, and upset.

Other signs include pain at the site of the bite, hallucination, hydrophobia, paralysis and as the disease advances the person enters into a coma and may eventually die. (Adora Bandorio/PIO)


Questions to explore further this topic:

What is rabies?

What is the rabies virus?

What animals get rabies?

How is rabies transmitted?

How is rabies diagnosed?

How is rabies treated?

How widespread is rabies in the US?

How widespread is rabies in the world?

How widespread is rabies in the Philippines?

How is rabies prevented and controlled?

What is the most common cause of human rabies in the US?

Can humans survive rabies without vaccination?

Louis Pasteur



Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:47 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:31 pm    Post subject: Teachers undergo seminar on rabies Reply with quote

Thursday, November 23, 2006
Teachers undergo seminar on rabies

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Ninety-five school personnel of the education department here participated in a teachers training on rabies prevention and control.

The activity is in line with a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed between the education and health departments for the implementation of the rabies program curriculum integration and instruction for public elementary schools.

Participants in the training were district supervisors, elementary school principals, head teachers, school nurses in the elementary and secondary schools with elementary catchments and teachers in-charge without advisory classes. They will re-echo to their teachers what was discussed during the orientation before implementing the program.

Mountain Province Education Officer Arlene Fillag said some elementary teachers were already briefed during the semestral break of public schools.

Fillag said the activity was first conducted in Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 12 in 2005, and is now being expanded to other regions with relatively high number of rabies cases and bite victims.

Having been identified with rabies cases in previous years, Mountain Province and Kalinga are also included in the training of teachers, she said.

Claudio Pancho, provincial rabies coordinator, said rabies program is among the other health programs overlooked by the local government units (LGUs). In the past five years, there were three recorded human rabies deaths, which were attributed to inadequate information to the community regarding the immediate interventions or what to do in cases of animal bites.

He explained that responsible pet ownership is also oftentimes neglected and the culture on the use of "tandok" or a practice of using black stone to heal the wounds is still very strong.

He said a total of 205 cases of animal bites in Mountain Province were registered last year, 39 of which were identified as category III patients and were given immunization.

Pancho pointed out that more children are prone to dog bites which usually happen during summer months when the children are out in the streets.

It was noted that many Filipinos still suffer the ill effects of rabies because of lack of education about the disease. The basic knowledge of most is that it is caused by dog bites. But many have no idea what rabies is and what to do to address the problem, its prevention and control of spread and immediate treatment of animal bites. Many are still ignorant on how to control and prevent this disease from spreading.

Better education for all concerned, especially pet-owners and children, still needs much emphasis. Practices on controlling rabies if inculcated among the people, beginning from the graders will surely make a difference, Pancho said.

The education on rabies, which was piloted in the Bicol region, is integrated in Science, Filipino, Science and Health, Mathematics and Makabayan subjects in all grade levels.

A teaching module is provided, which serves as a guide and reference for teachers and school counselors on educating grade school students on rabies, its prevention, first aid treatment, and the responsibilities of pet owners.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:56 am    Post subject: Rabies treatment team urges veterinary schools to scientific Reply with quote

Medical College of Wisconsin
26 March 2007

Rabies treatment team urges veterinary schools to scientifically define the Milwaukee protocol

The appeal, by Rodney Willoughby, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, appears in the April 2007 issue of Scientific American. In it he chronicles the scientific rationale behind the survival of a 15-year-old Wisconsin girl, Jeanna Giese, in 2004 and the six subsequent attempts made elsewhere to replicate the treatment, now dubbed the Milwaukee protocol.

"Our novel treatment has stirred controversy among medical specialists; some claim that Jeanna's cure was a fluke," says Dr. Willoughby. "Although the few attempts to replicate the treatment have not saved the lives of any other rabies patients, I fervently hope that we are on the right track. At the very least, researchers should initiate animal studies that parallel treatments in humans to determine which of the elements in our protocol can help defeat rabies."

Promising new research by Dr. Willoughby and faculty colleague Jeanette Vasquez-Vivar, Ph.D., along with Atlanta researchers, Dr. Keith Hyland at Horizon Molecular Medicine and Dr. Charles Rupprecht at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers new hope for a cure of this heretofore 100 percent fatal disease.

The researchers have discovered a deficiency of a vitamin-like molecule in rabies patients. The molecule, biopterin, can be supplemented and promises to make rabies even more treatable than it was when Jeanna survived.

According to Dr. Willoughby, of the six attempts by others to replicate the treatment, only two closely followed the protocol, and these two children survived twice as long as the average for rabies patients in the U.S. Although they ultimately died from complications of the disease or their care, both were clearing rabies virus from their bodies when they died.

"The sense is that we're very close to a second survivor," he says. "What is needed most is an animal model of rabies. Meanwhile, treatment of human rabies in medical intensive care units continues haphazardly, without scientific input."

Vaccines against the rabies virus can prevent development of the illness after a bite by an infected animal. But, until recently, doctors could hold out no hope for patients who failed to get immunized soon after being bitten. Once the symptoms of rabies appeared -normally within two months of the bite- death was inevitable, in a week or less.

Having pushed survival with human rabies from one week (untreated) to almost four weeks with the Milwaukee protocol, virtually nothing is known about how the body responds that far out. The problem, according to Dr. Willoughby, is that animal studies will also require intensive care of animals for a week or more. The researchers hope to find these answers by treating rabid animals in veterinary intensive care units.

Rabies is one of the oldest and most feared diseases. It attacks the brain, causing agitation, terror and convulsions. Victims suffer painful throat spasms when they try to drink or eat. Paralysis follows, yet people infected with rabies are intermittently alert until near death and can communicate their fear and suffering to family and caregivers.


The survivor, Jeanna Giese, is now a high school senior who will graduate with her class. She has also received her driver's license, plans to attend college in the Fall and is a member of the state-champion high school robotics team. In April, the team is scheduled to compete in the national championships in Atlanta, home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory that has supported most attempts to repeat the Milwaukee protocol in North America.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:59 am    Post subject: Jefferson researchers' discovery may change thinking on how Reply with quote

Thomas Jefferson University
19 April 2007

Jefferson researchers' discovery may change thinking on how viruses invade the brain

(PHILADELPHIA) -- A molecule thought crucial to ferrying the deadly rabies virus into the brain, where it eventually kills, apparently isnít. The surprising finding, say researchers at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, may change the way scientists think about how central nervous system-attacking viruses such as herpes viruses invade the brain and cause disease.

According to Matthias Schnell, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, viruses such as rabies must be actively transported to the brain and central nervous system. The LC8 protein was thought to tether viruses to the cellular transport machinery in order to get there.

But Dr. Schnell and his co-workers found that this protein complex is instead a "transcription factor" that plays a role in virus reproduction. "We think that this finding has implications not only for rabies but many viruses that previously were thought to use this complex for transport, such as herpes viruses," he says. They report their results online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To understand the role of LC8 in rabies disease in the brain, the team compared a rabies virus strain with the LC8 "binding domain" (where the rabies virus and LC8 protein interact) to a virus lacking it. They showed that in mice that were infected with rabies without the LC8 binding domain, the virus was still able to infect the brain, but did not cause disease. The virusí ability to reproduce was greatly diminished.

"What we found has nothing to do with transport," Dr. Schnell says. "We saw that the virus was weakened if we removed the LC8 binding site and viral replication and transcription were affected. But we didnít find a difference in the initial viral entry in the central nervous system. We actually saw that the virus replicated better with the binding site than without it. LC8 is a transcription factor that helps the virus efficiently replicate in cells."

The researchers were surprised by the finding. "The field in general has been focusing on this general dynein-LC8 protein interaction as key to viral transport," says co-author John Williams, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Jefferson Medical College. "We found that while transport must happen Ė itís essential to viral infection and spread and disease progression Ė itís not through this mechanism. Thereís more to the story."

"We think we have to have a closer look at how viral transport in general works," Dr. Schnell says. "Viral transport has to be revisited."

Next, the scientists plan to pay closer attention to other parts of the dynein-LC8 interaction, and attempt to find other proteins that could be involved in viral transport.
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 7:25 am    Post subject: Landmark study details demographic, ecological and genetic s Reply with quote

Emory University
17 May 2007

Landmark study details demographic, ecological and genetic spread of rabies in raccoon outbreak

Analyzing 30 years of data detailing a large rabies virus outbreak among North American raccoons, researchers at Emory University have revealed how initial demographic, ecological and genetic processes simultaneously shaped the virus's geographic spread over time. The study appears online in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences.

"Our study demonstrates the combined evolutionary and population dynamic processes characterizing the spread of a pathogen after its introduction into a susceptible host population," says Leslie Real, PhD, Emory University Asa G. Candler professor of biology. During invasion, emerging pathogens, such as rabies, ebola and hantavirus, undergo rapid evolution while expanding their numbers and geographic range; yet, it is difficult to demonstrate how these processes interact, says Dr. Real.

However, this particular outbreak, which went largely unchecked until relatively recently, was unusually well documented both spatially and temporally. Data were methodically collected and stored since the outbreak began in the mid-1970s. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had been stockpiling viral samples from the outbreak since 1982, giving scientists a treasure trove of genetic data ripe for analysis.

"Together these data offer a rare chance to examine how the demographic and spatial processes of spread and population expansion over 30 years have shaped viral evolution on a geographic scale," says Dr. Real. "Landscape features, such as rivers and mountains, can have a pronounced effect on the rate of rabies' spread and may therefore affect viral dynamics on a large scale," he says.

The study, for example, showed that because mountain ranges make for a poor raccoon habitat especially at higher elevations, raccoons did not cross the Appalachian mountain chain during the first part of the outbreak, which clearly limited the virus's westward expansion, says Dr. Real. Likewise, it was found that the Allegheny Mountains appear to have slowed the virus's expansion to the north. The study area ranged from North Carolina to Vermont, as far east as Chesapeake Bay, and westward into Tennessee and Ohio.

"These results provide important insights into the geographic scale of rabies persistence and will be increasingly important in understanding the epidemiology of rabies and other emerging zoonotic diseases, those diseases that can be transmitted between animals and people, in a geographic context," says Dr. Real. "We can then use these insights to predict where and when zoonotic disease outbreaks will occur so we can target surveillance and intervention," he says.

For example, in the United States, the western expansion of rabies is currently controlled through the distribution of an oral rabies vaccine stretching from Ontario, Canada, down to Alabama. But should the rabies breech this barrier, there are no natural settings to keep the virus from spreading across the entire Midwest. "However, we can now model what the spread of the virus would look like and then intervene," says Dr. Real.

Although raccoons are common throughout North America, their impact as a rabies host before the 1970s was limited to the southeastern United States, particularly Florida. However, this situation changed dramatically in 1977 when a raccoon-specific rabies virus variant (RRV) was detected in West Virginia. The RRV later spread quickly along the mid-Atlantic coast, and by 1999 infiltrated thousands of square kilometers.

It is estimated that rabies causes more than 50,000 human deaths annually worldwide, and roughly $30 million is spent each year to treat patients exposed to rabies in the United States. The estimated public health costs associated with rabies detection, prevention and control exceed $300 million annually in the United States, according to the CDC. These costs include vaccination of companion animals, animal control programs, maintenance of rabies laboratories and medical costs.

This study, which was conducted in collaboration with the CDC, was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture. The team of researchers from Emory included Dr. Real, Roman Biek, PhD, J. Caroline Henderson, and Lance Waller, PhD; and the CDC’s Charles Rupprecht, PhD.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:07 am    Post subject: Anti-rabies law takes effect Reply with quote

Anti-rabies law takes effect (10:33 a.m.)

MANILA -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has signed into law the Republic Act (RA) 9482 or Anti-Rabies Act of 2007, which seeks to control and eliminate human and animal rabies.

The law was signed last May 25.

Rabies is a highly fatal disease caused by a lyssa virus that is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. It is characterized by muscle paralysis, hydrophobia and aerophobia, and other neurological manifestations.

The new law requires the creation of a National Rabies Prevention and Control Program which will be implemented by a multi-agency committee that would be
chaired by the agriculture departmentís Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

The program involves the mass vaccination of dogs; establishment of a central database system for registered and vaccinated dogs; impounding, field control, and disposition of stray and unvaccinated dogs; the conduct of information and education campaign on the prevention and control of rabies; pre-exposure treatment of high-risk personnel and post-exposure treatment of animal bite victims; free routine immunization of schoolchildren aged five to 14 in areas where there is high incidence of rabies; and encouragement of responsible pet ownership.

RA 9482 requires pet owners to regularly vaccinate their dog against rabies and maintain a vaccination registration card, submit their dog for mandatory registration, maintain control of their dog and not allow it to roam any public place without a leash, provide their dog with proper grooming, adequate food
and clean shelter, report within 24 hours any dog biting incident for investigation or appropriate action, assist the dog bite victim immediately and shoulder the medical expenses of the victims. (JMR)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 7:26 am    Post subject: Crossing the Line: Technique could treat brain diseases Reply with quote

Week of June 23, 2007; Vol. 171, No. 25 , p. 387

Crossing the Line: Technique could treat brain diseases
Patrick Barry

For the first time, scientists have selectively ferried a drug across the blood-brain barrier to treat a neurological disease in mice. The new method could eventually make new treatments possible for a wide range of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.

The walls of capillaries that carry blood into the brain control whether molecules larger than a few hundred atoms, such as antibodies and proteins, can pass into the spaces between neurons. This capillary barrier can stymie doctors' efforts to cure neurological diseases because most medicines can't get through.

However, some viruses, including rabies, have molecules that trick the barrier into allowing them to pass. Researchers attached a molecule from the rabies virus to a drug and found that the coupled molecules got through the capillary walls and into the brain. A drug delivered in this way kept 80 percent of mice infected with Japanese encephalitis alive for at least 30 days, while all of the experiment's untreated mice died, the scientists report online and in an upcoming Nature.

For the full article:
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