DULUTH, Ga., Sept. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of World Rabies Day, Merial, the maker of PUREVAX® Feline Rabies vaccines, is encouraging cat owners to ensure that their cats are currently vaccinated against rabies infection (if overdue, now is the perfect time to make an appointment to see the veterinarian). In 2013, nearly 500 domestic animals within the United States contracted the rabies virus, and cats accounted for more than half of these cases.1 To help raise awareness about this deadly disease, Merial created PUREVAX Pure Protection, a website designed to educate cat owners about rabies. Merial is asking cat owners to visit www.purevaxpureprotection.com and play the interactive game, Feline Defense.
Many cat owners love the affectionate and playful nature of their feline friends. But, a cat's natural curiosity puts it at risk for contact with rabies-infected wildlife. Vaccination provides cat owners with the peace of mind that their pet is protected.
"U.S. households own more than 85.8 million cats, making them a more plentiful pet than dogs," said Brandt Giffin, executive director of U.S. Pets Marketing for Merial.2 "The Feline Defense game is a fun approach to warning cat owners about the dangers of rabies. Given the population of cats within the United States, vaccination is the responsible action to help protect the life of your cat. Even indoor cats can be exposed to rabies infection."
The PUREVAX Feline Rabies vaccines are highly effective and proven in cats. They are the only rabies vaccines made specially for cats. The PUREVAX Feline Rabies vaccines also protect without the need for adjuvants, vaccine additives that may present potential risks to feline patients, such as injection site reactions and chronic inflammation.3,4
THE DEADLY FACTS ABOUT RABIES
- There is no cure or treatment for rabies – infection is fatal.
- Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe inflammation in the brain and spinal cord of mammals.
- Rabies can be transmitted from rabid animals to other mammals, including humans, through bites.
The initial signs of rabies infection in animals includes noticeable changes in behavior, in which the animal may become aggressive and anxious. These signs progress to include incoordination, paralysis and eventually death.5
Rabies is a preventable disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories around the world.6 The costs associated with rabies are estimated to be more than $300 million in the United States alone.7 Across the globe, rabies is a concerning threat to public health, claiming 60,000 human lives each year.8 More than 15 million people around the world receive post-exposure treatment for rabies every year.8 In addition to vaccinating pets, preventing the spread of rabies is possible by taking measures to keep potentially rabid animals away, such as properly storing garbage and contacting animal control authorities to remove feral animals from residential areas. It is also recommended that people not leave food outdoors that may attract the wild or stray animals.
About World Rabies Day
Launched in 2007 by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, World Rabies Day is a global health observance to raise awareness about rabies and increase prevention efforts. The observance has grown year over year, with hundreds of thousands of people organizing and participating in local, regional and national events. The theme for 2015 is Let's End Rabies Together. Learn more at http://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health and well-being of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,500 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide with over €2 billion of sales in 2014. Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see www.merial.com.
- Dyer JL, Yager P, Orciari L, et al. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2103. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2014;245(10):1111-1123. http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/full/10.2460/javma.245.10.1111. Accessed September 21, 2015.
- APPA Staff. 2015-2016 APPA national pet owners survey statistics: Pet ownership & annual expenses. Pet industry market size & ownership statistics. http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp. Accessed September 21, 2015.
- Greene CE, Schultz RD. Immunoprophylaxis. In: Greene CE, ed. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:1163-1205.
- Day MJ, Schoon HA, Magnol JP, et al. A kinetic study of histopathological changes in the subcutis of cats injected with non-adjuvanted and adjuvanted multi-component vaccines. Vaccine. 2007;25:4073-4084.
- Greene CE, Schultz RD. Rabies and Other Lyssavirus Infections. In: Greene CE, ed. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:179-197.
- World Health Organization. Rabies. Media Centre. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs099/en/. Updated September 2015. Accessed September 21, 2015.
- National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. The burden of rabies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsRabies/index.html. Updated September 23, 2013. Accessed September 21, 2015.
- World Health Organization. Human rabies. Programmes. http://www.who.int/rabies/human/en/. Accessed September 21, 2015.