Annually observed on September 28, World Rabies Day is a global health observance created in 2007 by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC). This day’s aim is intended to motivate action for rabies prevention, raise awareness among communities, and educate the public on rabies prevention and exposure procedures.
This year’s theme is “Rabies: Facts, Not Fear.” According to the GARC’s website, the theme was developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic raising doubts and misconceptions about diseases, their spread, and vaccination in general. Similar to the pandemic, GARC states those involved in rabies advocacy have experienced the same challenges.
What role does TVMDL play in rabies testing?
The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) routinely accepts domestic, exotic, and wildlife species when rabies is in the differential diagnosis. The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) performs rabies testing for the State of Texas while TVMDL handles proper submission to DSHS for testing. The actual sample required for rabies testing is anatomically specific, and making use of TVMDL for sample collection helps ensure a reliable test.
It is suggested to send the entire head to TVMDL if further testing will be considered. This will ensure that if a DSHS rabies submission is negative, TVMDL has the appropriate sample to immediately begin diagnostic testing to determine the cause of the neurological signs.
TVMDL is proud to serve as a resource for rabies testing and education. We encourage those who may have questions about submitting samples for rabies testing to please call one of our full service labs: College Station at 1.888.646.5623 or Canyon at 1.888.646.5624 or visit tvmdl.tamu.edu.
For assistance on problems or questions regarding rabies prevention, call your local health department, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), your DSHS Public Health Regional Office, DSHS Zoonosis Control Branch (512-776-7255), or the DSHS Infectious Disease Control Unit (512-776-7455). Learn more about World Rabies Day by visiting their website.