A man was bitten by a German shepherd on Saturday, June 30th at a smoke shop in Asheville, North Carolina. The police have stated that if the dog and his owner are not located by midday Monday, the man will have to undergo rabies treatment.
A Dog's Day Afternoon
The Asheville Police Department is now searching for the dog and his owner and have surveillance photos in an effort to locate them. Police have stated that the man who was bitten was treated for minor injuries. However, the man did not get any information from the dog owner about the dog's health. The police continued that because of this, as a precaution, the man will have to begin the regimen for post-exposure rabies shots.
The man who was bitten will not have to receive such treatment if the authorities are able to locate the dog, test it for rabies, and obtain a negative result.
The treatment for rabies is not as intense as it was in previous years. A person being treated for rabies in the past would have to receive 21 injections in the stomach from a long needle, which is reported to be very painful. Now, treatment for rabies includes three doses of vaccination which is usually given through injection.
Rabies In America
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more the 90 percent of animal cases reported having rabies are wild animals. In the 1960s, the majority of the cases were found in domestic animals. The number of deaths that are related to rabies declined in America from over 100 at the turn of the century to one or two deaths in the 1990's.
Most deaths occur in humans who do not seek medical assistance because they are unaware of their exposure to it. Every year, researchers from the CDC collect data about incidences regarding humans and animals from the state health departments.
In 2015, 50 states and Puerto Rico reported over 5,000 cases of rabies in animals and 3 in humans. This number was significantly less than the 6,033 cases reported in 2014. Bats were the most reported for in wildlife rabies cases, followed by raccoons, skunks, and foxes. For domestic animals, the number of dogs with rabies increased in 2015 while the number of cats with rabies decreased.
The number of cattle reported having rabies increased while the number of horses and mules with rabies decreased in 2015.