Much of what most people know about rabies are actually myths. These untruths spawned generalized fear for some wildlife species and even domesticated pets that coexist with humans. This course aims to debunk myths and clarify the facts about rabies.
This session’s instructor is John Griffin from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). He is the Senior Director for Urban Wildlife Programs of the HSUS where he is in charge of various programs that aim to resolve typical human conflicts with wildlife. He worked on industry reforms with the professional wildlife rehabilitation community and published on topics related to it.
On this webinar, John unpacked points on:
- What rabies is and the cellular structure of the virus.
- A glimpse on deaths from rabies in the US and across the world, and the events that led to the massive reduction of these.
- How rabies spread, the Mid-Atlantic Racoon Rabies Epidemic, common rabies carrying species, and debunking myths about rabies.
- An inside look at how the rabies virus spreads in the human body and in raccoons from the bite site to the brain.
- The different symptoms that manifest in humans once the rabies virus wreaks havoc on the human brain and the three specific symptoms that serve the purpose of ensuring the virus finds another host.
- Clinical signs of rabies to look out for in animals.
- Measures employed to combat rabies through Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) Programs.
- Statistics that highlight how scarce rabies cases are across different species.
- The reasons why trapping rabid animals is not recommended.
- Understanding exposure and its types, and animals that rarely carry rabies.
- Best practices to address rabies in wildlife within communities.
- Questions raised during the Q&A were about:
- The lack of rabies cases in Hawaii.
- Resources to find rabid animal reports from.
- The effectiveness of rabies vaccines and the protection it provides.
- Incubation period of rabies per species.
- Dealing with raccoons in residential areas.
- Testing wildlife that displays rabies symptoms.
- “I really enjoyed the educational information about the myths regarding rabies.” — Awbrei
- “Very interesting to learn facts about rabies, like what are the most common vector species in specific areas – there’s a lot of hearsay about it and it can be hard to tell what is the actual fact.” — Foxfeather
- “John really covered a host of issues relating to rabies which both discussed the myths and facts. I really appreciated that! This was well-worth my time!!!” — Nicholas
- “Very interesting information. Learned a lot about where certain species with rabies are found. Useful information.” — Tara