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Beware - rabies!

On March 30, 2023, a meeting of the State Emergency Anti-epizootic Commission under the Lviv Regional State Administration took place, at which issues related to the unfavorable situation regarding animal rabies were discussed.

The meeting was attended by members of the State Emergency Anti-epizootic Commission under the Lviv Regional State Administration, heads of emergency anti-epizootic commissions under district state (military) administrations, representatives of the Lviv Regional Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Main Department of the State Production and Consumer Service in Lviv Region, a representative of the Carpathian Border Detachment and the Western Regional Department of Forestry and Hunting.

During the meeting, it was noted that as of March 30, 2023, 18 laboratory-confirmed cases of animal rabies were registered in the region, compared to 9 in the past. During 2022, 2,442 people applied to health care institutions for bites, of which 50 were bitten by animals suffering from rabies. Last year, 1,422 people were vaccinated against rabies, for which 4,050 doses of anti-rabies (anti-rabies) vaccine were used. And already in the current year, more than 500 doses have been used for vaccination against rabies.

Based on the materials discussed by the commission, a decision was made by which the relevant services within their competence are obliged to perform the following:

- To hold extraordinary meetings of emergency anti-epizootic commissions at district state (military) administrations on the issue of rabies prevention and to eliminate the risks of zoonoses.

- Carry out preventive vaccinations of domestic and agricultural animals against rabies in full.

- Organize and carry out the shooting of certain species of hunting animals in order to regulate the population density of foxes, wolves, and raccoon dogs.

- Provide measures to catch stray animals in order to regulate their number, carry out their vaccination against rabies.

- To conduct an epidemiological investigation of all cases of seeking medical help of persons who have been bitten and mauled by animals, to ensure control of the timely appointment and conduct of a course of anti-rabies vaccinations.

- To resolve the issue of creating anti-rabies care centers based on cluster hospitals and to develop clinical routes for persons who have contacted about animal bites or maulings.

- Take measures regarding the permanent availability of anti-rabies drugs for rabies immunoprophylaxis in health care facilities of the region.

For reference!

Rabies is an acute infectious disease of animals and humans caused by the neurotropic rabies virus (rabies virus) from the genus Lyssavirus. It is characterized by the development of a kind of encephalitis with rapid damage to the central nervous system. In case of delay in providing qualified medical care, death is inevitable.

A person can become infected with rabies from an infected animal through:


scratches and microdamages of the skin;

getting infected saliva on the mucous membranes.

In the contact way, people are most often infected by cats and dogs — from domestic fauna, and in the wild — by foxes and wolves.

Stray animals, in particular dogs, for which biting is an instinctive reaction to protect territory, pack members or obtain food, are a particular danger

If you have been bitten or licked by a stray or wild animal, see a doctor immediately! Procrastination can cost lives!

Symptoms of rabies

In humans, the incubation period for rabies is usually 1–3 months, but can vary from one week to a year, depending on a number of factors:

places, number and depth of bites (the most dangerous bites are to the face and head in general);

the amount and activity of the virus that entered the wound;

age of the victim (children are more vulnerable than adults).

The initial symptoms of rabies are fever and pain, as well as unusual or unexplained tingling, pricking, or burning sensations at the site of the injury. After the onset of symptoms, the disease almost always ends fatally. In the process of spreading the virus through the central nervous system, progressive fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord develops.

Symptoms of rabies in animals depend on the stage of the disease

Initial stage (lasts up to five days):

existing bite marks;

gnaw the bite site;

affectionate, capricious, wary at the same time;

weak appetite;

eat inedible things;



Excited stage (2-3 days):




trying to escape;

gnaw the ground;

eat inedible things;





Paralytic stage (2–4 days):


complete paralysis;


Treatment of rabies

In case of human infection, immediate hospitalization and administration of anti-rabies vaccine are indicated. There should be five such vaccinations: on the day of the visit to the doctor (day 0), and then on the 3rd, 7th, 14th and 28th days.

Rabies vaccine prevents the disease in 96-99% of cases.

It is effective if the course starts no later than on the 14th day from the moment of the bite or drooling. However, the immunization course is prescribed even several months after contact with a sick or suspected rabies animal. Antibodies appear in humans only on the 12th–14th day, and their maximum levels are reached only after 30–40 days. Immunity becomes effective approximately two weeks after the end of the course of vaccination and remains so throughout the year.

To prevent rabies, it is necessary:

regularly vaccinate domestic animals;

avoid contact with potentially dangerous animals.

Beware of homeless people, and especially wild animals that are not afraid to approach you.

If you are bitten by an animal, immediately contact a doctor!

When a doctor is not available, wash the wound thoroughly for at least 15 minutes with soapy water, detergents, surgical wound disinfectants, or other agents (70% alcohol or 5% iodine solution) that neutralize the virus.

After that, be sure to seek medical help.

Mandatory vaccination is subject to people:

who were bitten by rabid or suspected rabid animals directly or through clothing, even with the slightest damage to the skin;

bitten by any wild animals (even without suspicion of rabies);

scratched by animals suspected of having rabies or in case of splashing of the saliva of such animals on the scratches, its getting on the mucous membranes;

who have experienced any microdamage to the skin while working with rabid animals, pathological material, or transporting animal carcasses for research.

A course of preventive immunization is prescribed to people who are professionally associated with the risk of rabies infection.

Lviv Regional Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine

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