The other day I saw one of those “life after mankind” shows, in which they were talking about dogs, and the role that rabies will play. The show said that rabies was going to run rampant if some kind of SHTF situation happened. There was talk that rabies was going to take its toll on domesticated dogs shortly after the event. I think its going to take a few years for rabies to make a rebound. The reason being, rabies is not near as widespread as it used to be. That does not mean it can not make a comeback. Rabies is still out there, there is no doubt about that. But its like anything else, the infection is going to have to slowly spread back into the community.
Lets take Texas as an example:
DSHS does rabies vaccine air drops in parts of Texas where rabies has been reported. A rabies vaccine pill is wrapped in meat, and then dropped across a given area. Source – Texas DSHS rabies air drop
Most responsible pet owners have their dogs vaccinated against rabies.
The Texas DSHS recommends:
Impoundment and elimination of all stray dogs: This program requires suitable impoundment quarters, and facilities for the humane destruction of unwanted animals. Trained animal control personnel are also necessary.
Source – Texas DSHS Rabies Facts
Its gotten to the point where animal bites, and suspected rabies cases is rare. Around here (Southeast Texas), the local hospitals and health department do not even keep rabies shots in stock. If your bitten by an animal, and rabies is suspected, the treatment shots have to be shipped from over 100 miles away to Jasper, Texas. I think they have to come from either Houston or Tyler, Texas.
My opinion, its going to take rabies a long time to make a recovery to where its a problem again. But once it does make a recovery, its going to be here to stay.
Some people think that rats might be a common carrier or rabies. While any warm blooded animal can carry rabies, the animal has to be bitten, live long enough to develop rabies, and then bite again.
The problem with rats carrying rabies, their bodies are so small and compact, that any serious bite is probably going to be lethal. Its doubtful that a rat is going to survive an attack from a fox, skunk, dog or raccoon, live long enough to develop rabies, then bite something else. Chances are the bite is going to be so severe, important internal organs will be damaged, and the rat will die of a common bacterial infection, or bleed to death before it can develop rabies. This is not to say that rats can not carry rabies, but chances are their going to die from their wounds before they become infectious.
The most common sources of rabies transmission are foxes and skunks, source – Texas DSHS rabies facts
A common distribution pattern is for a rabid skunk or fox to bite and infect one or more dogs or cats during a fearless invasion into a community.
Post your comments in this forum thread about rabies post SHTF.