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Schering-Plough Announces Sponsorship of Rabies-Control Projects in India
Date:11/2/2009

ly children under the age of 15.

The new programs in India will start with surveys to learn how well rabies prevention is understood in the selected villages and to assess the status of rabies among the villages' dog and other animal populations. Researchers will also track the numbers of reported cases and human and animal deaths due to the disease. The next phase of the program will involve massive campaigns of public education, focusing on effective rabies prevention practices for humans and animals as well as appropriate treatment after exposure to the disease.

Education is urgently needed because WHO research shows most deaths occur when people bitten by, or exposed to, a rabid animal do not seek or receive appropriate treatment. In most countries where canine rabies is prevalent, victims of dog bites lack understanding of the importance of seeking appropriate medical treatment from a qualified health facility. Proper wound cleansing and immunizations, done as soon as possible after contact with a suspect animal, can prevent the onset of rabies in virtually 100 percent of exposures, the WHO has found. If left untreated, the fatality rate after rabies infection is 100 percent.

The education campaigns will draw attention to the importance of vaccinating community dogs. Improving community understanding of the life-saving value of administering canine vaccines is crucial; the WHO has determined that the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people is to eliminate rabies in dogs through animal vaccinations. This will especially benefit children, who typically have closer contact with dogs than adults and are less inclined to report injuries sustained from playing or other interaction with the animals.

The final phase of the Indian projects will involve a comprehensive evaluation of whether the education and vaccination efforts produced measurable improvements in the incidence of rabies in people, dogs a
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SOURCE Schering-Plough Corporation
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