Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

9-13-07

Contacts:

Mary Reichardt, Veterinary Medicine student, (616) 402-7521 reichmar@iastate.edu

Aleisha Nesset, Veterinary Medicine student, (515) 450-3827, aleishae@iastate.edu

Tracy Ann Raef, Veterinary Medicine communications, (515) 294-4602, traef@iastate.edu

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu

ISU veterinary medicine students hold bike-walk-run fund-raiser Sept. 22 for World Rabies Day

AMES, Iowa -- In support of World Rabies Day, students from Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine are donating profits from an upcoming fun run/walk and scenic bike ride in Ames to the Alliance for Rabies Control.

Students from the ISU student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the college's Recreation and Stress Relief Committee (RSR) are organizing the Sept. 22 events - the 18th annual 10-mile VAGBRAA (Veterinarian's Annual Great Bike Ride Around Ames), and a 5K fun run/walk.

Both events are open to the public (and their dogs). Registration is 7:30 to 8:50 a.m. The bike ride begins at 9 a.m. and the run/walk starts at 9:15 a.m. An entry fee of $12 includes lunch, raffle entry, free bike check and a t-shirt (while supplies last).

The World Rabies Day global effort to spotlight rabies prevention and control is spearheaded by Alliance for Rabies Control, a United Kingdom charity, and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta.

"We saw this as an ideal opportunity to highlight this important disease and its implications for human public health," said Rachel Davelaar, veterinary student and RSR president. "It's also a way to address the rabies prevention and control efforts in our community while teaming up with people around the world working towards a common goal."

Dr. Deborah Briggs, executive director for the Alliance for Rabies Control, said, "Until now, there has not been a coordinated effort to let the world know that this disease can be readily prevented through education, pet vaccination and increased human awareness as to proper wound management and administration of rabies vaccination after an exposure has occurred."

In the United States, the greatest achievement in rabies control and prevention occurred half-a-century ago with effective implementation of dog vaccination, licensing and stray dog control, according to the CDC.

"We cannot let our guard down with rabies," said Mary Reichardt, veterinary student and committee vice president. "Rabies is ever-present in wildlife, which can expose our pets and possibly our family members."

Every year, an estimated 30,000-40,000 U.S. residents are potentially exposed to rabies and require human rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, in 2006, laboratory testing confirmed that 57 reported animals (wild, domestic and livestock) in Iowa were positive for rabies. There were two reported human cases nationwide. Both were fatal.

"Rabies prevention starts with the animal owner," said Aleisha Nesset, committee secretary. "We recommend that people vaccinate dogs, cats, ferrets and any other animal (such as horses) that has regular contact with humans. They also should avoid wild animals such as bats or skunks that exhibit abnormal behavior."

Additional information is available from Davelaar, (563) 212-2160 or rdavel@iastate.edu.

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Quick look

ISU veterinary medicine students are organizing the 18th annual 10-mile VAGBRAA (Veterinarian's Annual Great Bike Ride Around Ames), and a 5K fun run/walk in Ames on Sept. 22 in support of World Rabies Day. Profits will go to the Alliance for Rabies Control in support of World Rabies Day. Both events are open to the public (and their dogs). Registration is 7:30 to 8:50 a.m. The bike ride begins at 9 a.m. and the run/walk starts at 9:15 a.m. An entry fee of $12 includes lunch, raffle entry, free bike check and a t-shirt (while supplies last).

Quote

"Rabies prevention starts with the animal owner," said Aleisha Nesset, committee secretary. "We recommend that people vaccinate dogs, cats, ferrets and any other animal (such as horses) that has regular contact with humans. They also should avoid wild animals such as bats or skunks that exhibit abnormal behavior."