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What is Rabies?

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Rabies

All warm-blooded animals including humans can be infected by rabies, a disease caused by the rabies virus. The virus flourishes in the saliva of infected animals and infection occurs when a human or animal is bitten by an infected animal. The virus attacks the brain by way of nerves near the bite wound, causing a variety of symptoms such as agitation, paralysis and convulsions. The disease is also known as hydrophobia because of the convulsions that occur when infected humans try to drink water. Rabies is a very frightful infectious disease with no effective method of treatment once the symptoms appear and the death rate is essentially 100%; however, since it can be prevented by vaccination, it is extremely important to have your dog vaccinated as a means of preventing rabies.

The Rabies Prevention Law, enacted in Japan in 1950, establishes the obligation to vaccinate and register dogs in Japan and to conduct quarantine inspections upon departure from and entry into Japan. There have, therefore, been no cases of rabies in Japan since 1957.
On the other hand, there are still reports from many countries around the world of humans, dogs, cats and domesticated animals as well as raccoons, foxes, skunks and other wild animals that have been infected by the rabies virus. The pet boom in recent years has resulted in an increase in the number of people who raise animals such as these in their immediate surroundings and it probably could be said that, if rabies were allowed to enter Japan again, it would increase the risk of human infection.