Dog rabies is still epizootic in most countries of Africa, Asia and South America and in these countries
dogs are responsible for most human deaths from the disease. The incubation period in dogs may vary
from one week to several months and may be influenced by the site of infection and the virus dose and
strain. Diagnosis by clinical signs alone is inadequate since many rabid dogs develop dumb rabies which
can easily be overlooked and others die without showing signs of rabies. Rabies virus may be excreted
in the saliva before clinical signs appear and may lead to infection of an unsuspecting and untreated bite
victim. Dogs may recover from clinical rabies and may then intermittently excrete virus in the saliva. Prevention
of human rabies depends on the control of canine rabies which can only be achieved by mass-immunization
and control of stray dog populations.
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